It is not uncommon to hear the term Medicare replacement plan. Usually, people use this phrase to refer to Medicare Advantage plans.
Advantage plans are thought to replace Original Medicare because they step in place of Part A and Part B as your primary source of coverage. However, it is not that simple. If you’re thinking about signing up for an Advantage plan, we’re here to explain how they got this name.
How Does a Medicare Replacement Plan Work?
These plans provide benefits through a private insurance company rather than through Medicare. Once enrolled, you must use the plan’s network of providers and hospitals to be covered. To be eligible for an Advantage plan, you must enroll in Part A and Part B of Medicare.
Does a Medicare Advantage Plan Replace Medicare?
To be clear, an Advantage plan does not technically replace Medicare. However, it acts as your primary coverage. Medicare pays private insurance companies offering Advantage plans to handle beneficiary claims and benefits on their behalf.
The Advantage plan must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B and often provides additional services and perks. These include coverage for prescription drugs, dental, vision, and hearing plans, free gym memberships, and more. Benefits vary depending on plan and carrier.
If you enroll in an Advantage plan, be sure to review your Summary of Benefits. This document will let you know what’s not covered, as well as list copay amounts, deductibles, and premiums for which you’ll be responsible.
Additionally, your benefits are subject to change each year. As an Advantage enrollee, you’ll want to keep your eyes out for your Annual Notice of Change letter to make sure you’re still happy with your plan. You should expect to get this letter in September, right before the Annual Enrollment Period.
Suppose you are unhappy with the changes to your plan. In that case, the Annual Enrollment Period allows you to make any necessary changes to your plan that will go into effect on January 1 of the following year.
What is the Best Medicare Advantage Plan?
Some find Advantage plan networks restrictive and often pay more than they save in out-of-network copays. On the other hand, those who don’t need to visit many doctors enjoy having one plan for all their needs and spending less than they would for a Medigap plan.
If you’re considering enrolling in an Advantage plan, be sure to go with a top-rated carrier. Also, ensure that you’re familiar with how the plan you’ve chosen works.
How to Get Help Understanding Medicare Replacement Plans
To review your options and decide whether a Medicare Advantage plan is best for you, our licensed agents are here to help! You can get in contact with one of our Medicare experts today by completing our online rate comparison form or by calling the number above to receive rates and information in your area.