Five ways to get the most from Medicare

“Right now the average drug plan costs $40 per month–even if you were five years late, the lifetime penalty wouldn’t be too painful to bear,” he says.

Moreover, Moeller notes that seniors using inexpensive generic drugs might do well to simply pay for them out of pocket and forego prescription drug insurance.

“In many cases you can get equal or better deals on drugs at the big retailers. Even some of the expensive drugs have manufacturer support programs that are not available to people enrolled in Part D,” he said.

However, Moeller encourages enrollees to take the long view when making Medicare choices.

“You should insure your future self, not who you are now. Many people are very vigorous at age 65, but that won’t be the case down the road. Ask yourself, if something adverse happens down the road, what kind of insurance should I have in place? You should make that decision now,” he said.

3. Traditional Medicare or Advantage?

Another key decision at the point of initial enrollment is the choice between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage, the managed care alternative.

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