Michelle Waldow, Licensed Benefits Consultant with The Health Insurance Store/Medicare Plan Options Answers Our Ask the Expert Question

Michelle WaldowQuestion:

I see a lot of advertisements on TV on Medicare plans. I know there are Medicare Supplements and Advantage Plans, but I have no idea what the differences are and if one would be a good choice for my healthcare needs. It is so confusing, how do I figure out what I need?


Making decisions with your Medicare insurance coverage can be overwhelming. The good news is that there are relatively simple ways to figure out which plan of action will provide the coverage that makes sense for you.

It helps to make a list of your concerns and needs. Once you identify what is important, you will have the ability to make sound choices.

I always begin a consultation by asking my clients to decide if they have doctors that they must continue to see for medical care. (This includes Mental Health Providers.) If so, we then research the providers and determine what types of insurance that they accept. Some providers may only take Medicare. Others may accept just about every type of health insurance coverage and some may only take PPO plans. That process usually narrows down the field for options.

The next question has to do with financial concerns. For some clients, costs of care and monthly premiums are not a problem. They may like the choice and coverage provided by a Medicare supplement.

For others, especially people on a fixed income, costs are the main concern. There are many options to consider, such as a Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans offer low or zero monthly premiums, low co-pays on doctor visits and most medical services and some offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare. Some people may qualify for assistance with their costs and may need assistance to apply.

If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or COPD, note your concerns as to providers, prescriptions, etc. You may want to look into the chronic conditions plans offered by some companies. These plans can offer coverage designed to address the needs of people with specific health conditions.

Last but not least, are wellness benefits important to you? Some plans offer a Silver Sneakers membership and other services to keep wellness and prevention a priority.

Getting your information together is a good start. The next step may be to contact a Licensed Insurance Agent. At the Health Insurance Store, our services include a review of your current health benefits and information on the plans that may work for you. Please contact us at One Senior Place to set up an appointment.


Michelle Waldow has been working in the health insurance industry for the past ten years. Her experience includes claims administration, patient advocacy, medical policy review and ERISA appeals work. Michelle is currently providing Benefits Consulting services with The Health Insurance Store’s Medicare Plan Options office, as well LTC Advisors, both located at One Senior Place in Altamonte Springs. If you have questions or need more information call Michelle at 407-963-2332.

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