As you know, there is a trade off when paying lower premiums for a Medicare Advantage plan, you may lose access to your preferred health care providers or facilities. Thankfully, there are alternatives to Medicare Advantage plans.
Most Medicare Advantage plans require you to stay in their tightly controlled provider network and if you go out of network, you’ll pay more, or those charges won’t be covered at all.
Being restricted to a Medicare Advantage network can be risky, especially if you fall ill and desire a specific specialist that’s not in the network.
Many Medicare Advantage plans are offering a low-cost premium, don’t be fooled, out of pocket expenses arise when health issues appear. Below, we’ll learn more about the alternatives to Medicare Advantage plans.
Part B will cover things like
- Doctor visits
- Preventive services
- Certain screenings and vaccinations
- Durable medical equipment
- Other services
Part A can come with substantial annual deductibles and copayments or coinsurance for inpatient services. Medicare Part B has a monthly premium, copayments, coinsurance, and an annual deductible.
When you have a Medigap policy it can help downsize your Original Medicare costs.
These policies allow you to see any provider that accepts Medicare Assignment. Basically, if the doctor or hospital accepts Medicare, they will accept your Medigap plan.
The Most Comprehensive Coverage
One of the best parts is that you can go to any state in the United States and have the same coverage. So, if you live in Pennsylvania and the best heart doctor is in New York, nothing is stopping you from getting the care you deserve.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive coverage option for those with Medicare. People with this plan won’t have to worry about deductibles, coinsurance or copays on Medicare covered services.
If you’re on vacation in Florida and you break an arm, you have coverage just like at home, no issues. You show the hospital your Original Medicare card and your supplement insurance card and you’re all set.
Plus, if you travel outside the country and you have a supplement, you’ll have even more coverage than those with Original Medicare. This is because most Medicare Supplements cover emergency foreign travel coverage.
So, with a Medigap plan, you get freedom to see any doctor that accepts Medicare Assignment and you get coverage outside your local area. In my years of insurance experience, the Medicare Supplement policies have always been the most comprehensive policies.
If myself or my family were to become sick or have a disease, I would want them to have a Medicare Supplement policy. The Medigap plan is the best alternative to a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medical Bill Protection
Original Medicare gives you responsibility for 20% of your bill, and Medicare covers 80% after your deductible is met. If you have a Medigap policy, the plan would cover that 20% and depending on your plan choice, may even cover the deductible.
This is extremely helpful as we age and our need for healthcare increases. If you don’t have additional coverage that 20% could possibly add up to more than a Medicare Supplement would cost.
Timing is everything when it comes to a Medicare Supplement, depending on when you make your purchase, you could qualify for Guaranteed Issue on your Medigap policy.
Guaranteed Issue means that the insurance company must approve your application. Legally, they can’t deny you for health problems, and they can’t charge you a higher rate because your health.
The Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a six-month period that begins the month your Medicare Part B goes into effect and you turn 65.
Of course, you can apply at any time, but after your OEP insurance carriers can refuse to sell you a policy or charge you more based on your health history.
In some cases, if you’re losing other Medicare coverage, you qualify for a Guaranteed Issue right. This will allow you Medicare Supplement enrollment without medical underwriting, even after the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period.
Every Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable, meaning insurance companies can’t cancel your plan when you’re paying for the policy. Conveniently, your policy will automatically renew each year.
This also means you won’t need to change your plan every year, the plan you choose is the same plan every year, the coverage and benefits will remain the same for as long as you’re enrolled.
Wide Variety of Standardized Plans
There are 10 standardized Medigap policies offering a wide variety of coverage to help pay for Original Medicare costs. This means there are at least 10 plans that are alternatives to a Medicare Advantage plan.
Each Medicare Supplement policy is regulated. This means the benefits from each separate plan are the same, no matter what company you choose or where you live. It’s important to remember this when you’re comparing prices.
A Plan F is a Plan F no matter which company you choose for coverage.
Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have slightly different rules when it comes to their standardized plans. Talking to a licensed agent in your state can help you determine your best option.
Part D Prescription Drug Coverage
Having prescription drug coverage is necessary. The reason I consider it necessary is because if you don’t enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan when you’re first eligible you could receive a Part D penalty.
Part D insurance is separate from your Medicare Supplement and covers your medication needs. If you don’t take any prescriptions then I would recommend enrolling in the most affordable premium option for Part D.
While you might not have a prescription today, you may need coverage for any new medications that your doctors prescribe in the future.
Plans change each year, so, talking with an insurance expert can help you decide what works best for your situation. Keep in mind, the Medicare drug plan that best suits your neighbor, may not be the most suitable plan for you.
Stand Alone Dental, Vision, and Hearing Policies
Dental, Vision, and Hearing insurance plans typically have a coinsurance, maximum benefit for the year, and a small yearly deductible.
DVH insurance is generally inexpensive, basic plans will cost around $35 per month and preferred plan will cost up to $75 per month.
Alternatives to Medicare Advantage Plans
While Medicare Advantage plans may look appealing, they don’t offer the most comprehensive coverage. Thankfully there are plenty of other options.
Talking to an insurance expert can help you decide which option is best for your needs. Our Brokers can help you find a Medicare Supplement plan to help pay for your healthcare expenses.
Give us a call, or complete our online rate form to compare prices and plans in your area now. You can also compare rates by clicking here!