Elder Law with Frank and Mary: Medicare challenge


Medicare renewal can be a daunting task, but it is important that you take the time to review it. Maybe your health has changed, or your plan has. Maybe there are better plans. If you don’t check, you may be wasting your healthcare money next year. I challenge each and every one of you to review your medicare coverage.

  • Begin by looking in the mirror. Has your health declined? Have your prescriptions changed? Do you have any procedures coming up? 
  • Now look at your Medicare D plan to make sure your prescriptions will be covered, and, if so, will the cost change? Does it make a difference which pharmacy you are using?
  • Next, compare your plan to others in your area. Remember, every plan can change every year, and while you may be wedded to your doctor, you may not be as wedded to your drugstore.
  • Once you’ve made it through your Part D analysis, look at the Supplemental Plan you have to limit your copay and deductible exposure under Medicare A and B. This will be especially significant if you are expecting new medical procedures in 2023, and even if you’re not, plans may change their premiums.
  • Finally, see what, if any, Medicare C (Medicare Advantage) plan is available in your area, and compare those prices (and risks) to the ones you face with Medicare A+B+D+Supplemental.

If this sounds too overwhelming (which is the reason why most people don’t do it), call the senior center and ask to talk to a SHINE counselor, who can help you figure out the insurance package that meets your needs. If there are no SHINE counselors, the senior center staff should be able to advise you on whom to contact.

For more information, visit Frank and Mary’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/elderlawfrankandmary. These programs also air on MVTV (Comcast 13), along with “Frank and Mary on Martha’s Vineyard,” where Sandie Corr-Dolby and I address common issues facing seniors, and available resources. If you have any questions, please contact me at 508-860-1470 or abergeron@mirickoconnell.com.

Arthur P. Bergeron is an elder law attorney in the trusts and estates group at Mirick O’Connell.