If you have ever been a member of an Advantage plan, you know that the annual enrollment period exists for a reason. A good reason. Companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans, contract with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for one year at a time. Plans can change on an annual basis. But what about AARP Medicare Complete? It has been a popular plan. Will they change a good thing?
AARP Medicare Complete is available both as a PPO or a HMO, depending which County you live in. Plans are available on a County by County basis. Some of the benefits of choosing AARP Medicare Complete include:
- Good name recognition among providers and a strong network.
- $0 premium plans are still available.
- Part D drug coverage is included.
- Co-pays are reasonable.
- Plans include may extra services not usually included in Medicare.
Is AARP Medicare Complete the best choice?
That’s a difficult question to answer. It may be the best choice for one person, but not the next. First, you need to determine whether a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare supplement plan is a better choice for your budget and individual health situation.
A Medicare supplement will fill the gaps left by Medicare, such as the hospital deductible and 20% coinsurance for outpatient services. You will need to make sure that the premium is affordable and that you qualify medically if you are outside of open enrollment or a guaranteed issue period. You will also need to purchase a separate Part D drug plan, as they are not included in a supplement.
A Medicare Advantage plan, like AARP Medicare Complete, is not a supplement, but is rather another way to receive your Medicare benefits. You will be subject to enrollment periods and in return for a low or $0 premium, you will have some cost sharing. Cost sharing can include; co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles. Part D is often included. You may need to utilize a network, or at least accept that if you go out of network, you will pay more.
If you decide that an Advantage plan would be right for you, you can visit the Medicare website and see all of the plans available in your area. Information will include, the monthly premium, whether Part D is included and the type of plan. Plan types will typically include PPOs, HMOs and PFFS plans.
AARP Medicare Complete may change next year
I’m not saying that Medicare Complete will change next year, I’m saying that a plan is offered for one contract year at a time, and next year’s plan could be different. Companies can begin to market their new plans beginning October 1st each year. The Annual Enrollment Period starts October 15th and runs through December 7th. If you are set on an Advantage plan, you should give ARRP Medicare Complete a look.