Are Your Doctors in The Network?
This is the fifth in this series. To start at the beginning, go to 5 Questions to Ask Before Enrolling.
Unless you want to risk having a strange doctor aggressively exam your half nude body with a cold stethoscope during your next annual exam, you should make sure your doctors are in the network of any plan you enroll in.
If You Decide to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan
If you have already decided to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, you can skip this question because these plans do not have network restrictions. It is extremely rare that a physician or other medical provider will not accept payment from Medicare or a Medicare Supplement Plan.
If You Decide to Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan
Having a list of plans in order from best to worst saves you a lot of time even if the list isn’t perfect. Now we start making the list even better.
You can view the provider network of each policy you like by visiting the insurer’s website. This is often a better solution than asking your doctors staff. They will usually be able to tell you if they are in a network for a particular insurance company, but will sometimes be unaware that the doctor is not in the network for every policy the insurer offers.
Start at the top of the list you printed out and see if your doctor or doctors are in the network, skip the plans that do not have your drugs in their formulary. Keep going through the list until you find two plans that cover both your drugs and doctors or you reach the end of the list.
If you have followed all the steps in the series, you now have a list of the plans in your area that cover your doctors and your prescriptions. In the next step you will see how to get information about the benefits of the plans that are on your short list.
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Complete this questionnaire and you will get a recommendation by email for the plan I think you will find covers you best.
To start at the beginning of this series click here.