When it comes to Medicare, seniors have plenty of different options. One of these options is a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Advantage plans are through private insurance companies. Below we’ll discuss the Top 3 Medicare Advantage carriers and things to know.
Best Medicare Advantage Plans & Carriers for 2020
These plans will take the place of Medicare. Your advantage plan is responsible for your claims.
When you go to the doctor, your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare.
These plans typically have Part D, which can make keeping track of your healthcare easier. Some plans even include things like routine dental, routine eye care, and silver-sneakers fitness programs.
Choosing a reliable company to handle your Medicare Advantage benefits is essential.
The Aetna Medicare Advantage plans are number one on our list. Aetna is one of the largest health insurance carriers in the world. They have earned the title of an AM Best A Rated Company.
These plans have options- HMO or PPO, zero or low premiums, and added benefits. You can choose the plan that is right for you and your needs.
Aetna has options to keep you healthy, too; they have annual wellness visits, hearing and vision check-ups, and prescription drug coverage. If you want discounts on fitness centers, you can choose a plan with that option.
Aetna has a vast network of doctors, hospitals, and many other benefits. If you have more than one doctor you want to see; an Aetna plan might be the best plan for you.
The network of pharmacies is also extensive, making filling your prescription someplace nearby easier. Many of the preferred generic drugs start at just $1.
Humana Medicare Advantage Plans 2020
Humana has been providing Medicare Advantage coverage for over 20 years. With over 8.5 million Medicare members, Humana Medicare Advantage plans have some of the lowest out of pocket costs.
Some out-of-pocket maximums are as low as $2,200. If this plan is in your service area, that would mean the most you can spend on copayments and coinsurances for the year is $2,200.
If you have high health care expenses, a Humana Plan might be the plan for you. Many of Humana Medicare Advantage plans come with additional benefits and resources to support your well-being. Most Advantage plans are including fitness programs and access to more than 13,000 fitness centers, convenient mail-order pharmacy services, and a 24/7 nurse advice line.
Silver Sneakers gives you access to gyms and exercise classes throughout the United States, with no membership fees required.
Also, two Medicare Advantage contracts in Florida and Tennessee have a 5-star rating on CMS. 5-star plans have a Special Enrollment Period option; so, if you don’t have a 5-star plan, you can enroll in the high-quality plan anytime during the year.
Cigna was founded in 1792 when you select a long time standing company; you can feel confident in your coverage. Just like Aetna, Cigna has an A Rating with A.M Best company.
Cigna offers more than just experience; they provide expertise. They understand one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Medicare needs and plans. That is why Cigna offers many plan options, including Special Needs Plans.
Cigna has special needs plans for people in nursing homes or skilled nursing care, or people with diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and options for people with Medicare and Medicaid.
Cigna has over 86 million members worldwide.
What is an Advantage Plan
- Medicare Advantage plans are Part C plans.
- These plans include Part A and B into one program and often include Part D (Prescription drugs).
- These plans are notorious for having extra benefits beyond Medicare.
- Medicare pays the private insurance company a portion of your Part B premium to cover your Medicare benefits.
- Most Medicare Advantage plans offer a zero-dollar premium or a lower premium.
Types of Medicare Advantage Plans
There are different types of Medicare Advantage Plans; Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, Special Needs Plans (SNPs), and HMO Point-of-Service (HMO-POS) plans.
- HMO plans only cover you when you go to doctors, providers, or hospitals in your plan’s network except in urgent or emergencies. Referrals from primary care doctors to see other doctors or specialists may be required.
- PPO plans will generally cover you outside the network with a higher out of pocket cost to you.
- PFFS plans are most like Medicare; you can go to any doctor, provider, or hospital if they accept the plan’s payment terms.
- SNPs provide specialized health care for specific groups of people, like those with Medicare and Medicaid, people living in a nursing home, or those with certain chronic medical conditions.
- HMO-POS plans may allow you to get some services out-of-network for a higher cost out of pocket
To qualify, you need Parts A and B. Also; you need to live in the plan’s service area.
If you live in another state for part of the year, you’ll want to ask the plan if they will cover you in both places.
People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure) generally can’t join. There are SNPs available for ESRD in some areas.
Things to Know
- You can only join at certain times during the year unless you qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP). In most cases, you enroll in a plan for a year.
- In 2019, the return of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period allows beneficiaries to switch to another plan. They can even return to Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan if they’re unhappy with their current Advantage plan.
- Check with the plan before you get a service to find out if the service is covered and what your costs might be.
- Following plan guidelines, like getting a referral when needed, can keep your costs lower. Check with your plan.
- Providers can join and leave a plan’s provider network at any time during the year. Your policy can change the providers in the network at any time. If either of these things happens, you’ll need to choose a new provider.
- If your plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, join another Health plan or return to Medicare.
- Once you enroll, you’ll automatically lose any drug plan you had. You can’t have an MA plan and a separate prescription drug plan unless it is a PFFS Medicare Advantage plan.
- You get prescriptions through most Advantage plans. Individuals with a Medigap or Medicare will need a separate drug policy.
Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans must cover at least what Medicare covers and most include more benefits.
You still have Medicare rights and protections. Out-of-pocket costs are typically lower, meaning this option may be the most cost-effective for you.
Also, if you join a clinical research study, some costs may be covered by your plan. If you’d like to learn more about other types of coverage in your area, contact an agent at the number above. You can also read our article on changes coming to Medicare Advantage in 2020.
You can also compare rates online by filling out our rate form here.