If you’ve heard of a Medicare replacement plan, it’s the same as an Advantage plan. Advantage plans are also known as replacement plans because, in a way, they replace Original Medicare. If you’re thinking about signing up for an Advantage plan, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.
How Does a Medicare Replacement Plan Work?
Replacement plans, Advantage, or Part C, plans stand-in for your Medicare for each year you’ve enrolled. They don’t act as a permanent replacement, and you can always return to Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period or Annual Enrollment Period. The way these plans work is by providing benefits through a private insurance company rather than through Medicare. When enrolled in an Advantage plan, you must use the plan’s network of providers to be covered. When signing up for an Advantage plan, you must have enrolled in both Parts A and B.
Does a Medicare Advantage Plan Replace Medicare?
Again, an Advantage plan doesn’t permanently replace Medicare. However, it acts as your primary coverage. Medicare pays private insurance companies offering Advantage plans to handle beneficiary claims and benefits. The Advantage plan must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B. They often also provide additional services and perks, such as prescription drug, dental, vision, and hearing plans, or free gym memberships.
If you enroll in an Advantage plan, check your Summary of Benefits. This document will let you know what’s not covered, as well as list copay amounts 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.
What is the Best Medicare Replacement Plan?
The best Advantage plan for you depends on your needs. Indeed, it also depends on if you would benefit from enrolling in an Advantage plan at all. When making a decision, consider how much the downsides to Medicare Advantage plans would affect you. Some people find the networks restrictive, and they pay more than they save in copays outside their network. On the other hand, others 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.
Get Help Understanding Medicare Replacement Plans
If you need more information or help to choose the right plan for you, give us a call today. We offer plans from top-rated carriers.
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