There are many reasons why seniors are choosing Medicare Advantage plans, and the cost is a huge factor. Most people have had group coverage throughout their adult life.
If seniors are already accustomed to copayments, doctor networks, and prescriptions all on one plan, then having in a Medicare Advantage plan can seem like the most comparable option.
There are some important things you should understand about Medicare Advantage plans before enrolling into one.
Top Reasons Why Beneficiaries Choose Medicare Advantage Plans
- Affordable Costs for Doctors Visits and Prescriptions
- Medical and Drug Coverage are Combined into One Plan
- Limit to Annual Out of Pocket Costs
- Premiums are Affordable
- My Preferred Doctor is in Network
- Extra Benefits like Dental, Vision, or Hearing Coverage
- My Current Insurer Has a Medicare Advantage Plan I Like
- Can Keep My Current Insurer
Affordable Costs for Doctors Visits and Prescriptions
Medicare Advantage plans in certain areas have primary doctor visits and generic prescriptions as low as $0. It would seem outrageous to pay for a visit, if you have the option for a $0 payment for the same exact visit.
Certain plans have mail order generic prescriptions, you can get a three-month supply of your drugs sent right to your house for $0. That means you save costs associated with driving to the drug store, and any copayment costs you would have incurred at the drugstore.
Medical and Drug Coverage are Combined into One Plan
Having Medical and Prescription coverage on one plan is much like the group coverage seniors are familiar having. The convenience of a Medicare Advantage plan is phenomenal; one enrollment, one plan, and all the benefits. It is no wonder senior beneficiaries are choosing the Medicare Advantage plan for their Medicare coverage.
Limit to Annual Out of Pocket Costs
The Out of Pocket Maximum is a major selling point for Medicare Advantage plans. If the Maximum out of pocket for your plan is $2500 the most you can pay for the whole year on covered services is $2,500.
Then, after you have reached the Maximum out of pocket, the play pays all covered services in full. You can really budget your healthcare when you know the most you could pay in covered services.
Just remember, there are some services not covered by Medicare and you will want to check with the Medicare Advantage plan to see what they will or will not cover.
Premiums are Affordable
There is nothing more affordable than $0, the Medicare Advantage plan program is making coverage possible for more seniors every year.
The reason you can get a $0 premium on some of the Medicare Advantage plans is when you pay your Part B premium and you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare gives the Medicare Advantage plan a portion of your Part B premium to provide you with benefits.
My Preferred Doctor is in Network
Finding a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 premium and your preferred doctor in network can be a dream come true. Just understand that your doctor can leave the plans network at any time, your plan can also drop your doctor from the network at any time; if either of these things happen you will need to choose a new doctor.
Extra Benefits Like Dental, Vision, or Hearing Coverage
Medicare Advantage plans can go above and beyond Original Medicare. There is nothing quite like rubbing your tongue across smooth clean teeth after a professional cleaning.
New glasses can be expensive and certain plans cover the cost of the glasses up to $100-200.
Depending on your area you may even have a plan with hearing coverage. Hearing aids can be expensive, having a plan that either covers all or part of the costs can be extremely beneficial to your confidence.
It is important to review the plans available to you every year, each plan can have some changes and new companies and plans are becoming available.
My Current Insurer Has a Medicare Advantage Plan I Like
People find comfort in consistency; group coverage is like Medicare Advantage coverage. If your current insurer satisfies you, changing companies could seem overwhelming. No matter the plan you think is best, looking into other options is always beneficial.
While the company you have now might offer a good Medicare Advantage plan, you want to be sure you are getting the best coverage for you. Don’t settle for an option just because it is familiar, be sure it is the best for your situation.
Can Keep My Current Insurer
Employer Sponsored Medicare Advantage plans provide supplemental coverage for retirees beyond the standard benefits offered by most Medicare Advantage plans. If you are happy with your company, you might feel like you want to continue with them for Medicare coverage.
Looking at all your options will be your best approach to getting Medicare coverage. While the company you have now might offer a good Medicare Advantage plan, you want to be sure you are getting the best coverage for you.
Understanding Medicare Advantage
If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage program you are still in the Medicare Program and you will get Part A and Part B coverage through the plan. You will still have Medicare rights and protections.
You can only join or change a plan at certain times during the year. You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan even if you have a pre-existing condition, except for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare Advantage plans cannot charge more than Original Medicare for certain services like chemotherapy, dialysis and skilled nursing facility care. Out of pocket costs for Medicare Advantage plans are typically lower than other plans, this option may be most cost effective for you.
You will need to check with the plan before you get a service to find out if the service is covered and what your costs will be. It is important to follow the plans rules, like going to in network providers and getting referrals for specialist visits, these things can help keep costs down. Also understand the different types of rate hikes these plans sometimes have.
Providers can leave a plan’s network anytime during the year, the plan can also change the providers in the network anytime; if this happens you will need to choose a new provider.
If you decide to join a clinical research study, some of the costs may be covered by your plan. Medicare Advantage plans have yearly limits on out of pocket costs for medical services; once you reach the limit, you will pay nothing for covered services.
You can only be enrolled in one Medicare Advantage plan at a time. If your Medicare Advantage plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, you will need to join another Medicare health plan or return to Original Medicare.
There are two times a year you can switch your Medicare Advantage Plans:
- Annual Enrollment Period between October 14th and December 7th
- Medicare Open Enrollment Period between January 1st and March 31st
Do What is Best for You
Medicare Advantage plans can seem great. They can be affordable, include prescriptions and be like the group coverage plans many seniors are accustomed to having. In 2018, there has been plenty of good news for Medicare Advantage recipients, like the possibility of Medicare Coverage expanding.
Just be sure the plan you choose is the right plan for you. If you have doctors you are flexible changing, if needed, then the Medicare Advantage plan could be a good fit.
If you are trying to save money on your healthcare costs, or have little to no health issues, the Medicare Advantage plan is something you should be looking into.
Always check to be sure your prescriptions are covered on the plan and find out what your potential costs will be. Working with an agent can help you more easily find the best plan that fits your needs.
Working with an Agent who writes policies for multiple companies can eliminate talking to hundreds of people and getting confused about what you want.
Agents have a fiduciary responsibility to guide you in the right direction for coverage, working with an agent can help you feel confident in your coverage choice. Call us now, or compare Medicare Advantage rates online here.