Figuring Out Medicare Choices






by Barbara Nevins Taylor

Mary Purcell was 66 and retired for a year. Her husband Butch’s insurance covered their health care costs as it had for more than forty-five years. But recently, 67-year-old Butch retired and their health insurance ended. Mary began to shop for Medicare insurance, and that’s when the fun started. “I consider us fairly intelligent people. This was a nightmare,” she told us recently. The Purcells’ nightmare is shared by many of us who try to decide which Medicare plan we should take.

The Medicare website offers a dizzying array of choices, and the insurers competing for our business send us equally confusing information about their plans, which differ slightly depending upon the state you live in. Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker says, “It can be intimidating and scary. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a call from a stupid person. People are engaged. They are intelligent. But sometimes it can be very confusing and complicated.

Mary was stumped by the way the plans are described. She says, “They had these plans identified by ABCD&F. What does that mean? What insurance company is that? As a consumer I was used to brand names.” She’s right. The letter system is bewildering.

Figuring out medicare choices isn’t easy.  It’s difficult to decipher which plans make the most sense for each one of us, and it’s equally difficult to decide which insurer to pick.

Should you choose a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplemental plan and if you choose Medicare Supplemental, which one works best for you?

We broke everything down in the Figuring Out Medicare Choices video. The video features experts from United Healthcare, the Medicare Rights Center and the Community Service SocietyWatch and find out what the differences are between the plans, and what criteria make a plan the one for you.


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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.

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