Op/Ed: It's time to enroll in a Medicare plan. Here's how to choose the right one for you.

As 2023 quickly approaches, many Hoosiers may start to consider their New Year’s resolutions. If exercising more, eating healthier, losing weight and living more economically are on your list, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey found those were among the top five resolutions for 2022.

For those 65 or older or individuals eligible for Medicare due to disability, it may be easier than you think to choose a health care plan that aligns with these goals, as many Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage and benefits to help you live a healthy, active life.

While selecting a Medicare plan that suits your individual needs can feel overwhelming, it’s an important task since the plan you select by the Dec. 7 Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan deadline is the plan you’ll likely have for all of the coming year. Whether you are new to Medicare or reevaluating your plan options, I urge anyone who is eligible to enroll to conduct a personal assessment to identify the type of plan that’s best suited for your unique health needs.

When you’re getting ready to turn 65, consider which Medicare option is right for you.
When you’re getting ready to turn 65, consider which Medicare option is right for you.

This can include checking to see if your doctors and hospitals are in network, as well as whether dental, vision and hearing coverage is included. It's also important to make a list of your current medications so you can compare estimated prescription costs as you evaluate plan options. Some plans even offer $0 copays for certain prescriptions, which can result in a significant savings if you take several medications.

More:Lawmakers want to lower health care costs. How is the tricky part.

When you compare Medicare plan options, also consider the innovative benefits you’d use. For example, if losing weight and increasing activity are part of your New Year’s goals, look for coverage that includes free exercise programs such as SilverSneakers, a health and fitness program that is included at no additional cost in some plans. You may also look for a plan that includes allowances for eligible members that can go toward groceries and over-the-counter products.

More:FDA approves new Alzheimer's drug. Here's why Medicare refuses to pay.

Understanding which plans offer these benefits and whether you qualify can be complicated, so be sure to use free, credible resources to help answer your questions.

Medicare-eligible individuals can turn to trusted resources, such as The Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov to help compare plans, benefits and get an estimated cost for each plan. For more information, visit www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY: 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Kathie Mancini is regional president of Medicare for Indiana for Humana, a Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO organization with a Medicare contract.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Your Medicare plan can help you get healthy in the new year