Medicare Advantage Plans offer another option
When you think of senior medical insurance, Medicare typically comes to mind. Many people with original Medicare compare Medicare Advantage Plans to Medigap insurance, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is not a Medicare supplement. Many people believe that because an Advantage Plan is offered by a private insurance company, it must be a supplement.
Medicare Advantage Plans are:
Administered by private insurance companies and approved by Medicare. They provide your Part A and Part B coverage, but may charge different amounts for different services. Medicare Advantage Plans generally include additional benefits beyond original Medicare, such as; dental, vision, hearing and sometimes gym memberships.
Advantage Plans most often include Part D prescription drug coverage, but this is not always the case. Costs for items and services vary by plan. Also, monthly premiums vary by plan. Some Medicare Advantage Plans may charge no monthly premium, while another may charge in excess of $100 per month. It pays to compare Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Advantage Plans do not:
Contrary to popular belief, you are not losing your Medicare if you join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your Medicare is being subcontracted to a private insurance company and you have the right to drop the plan and return to original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans are one way to receive your senior medical insurance, but they do not necessarily offer the certainty of a Medicare supplement. Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans can change plans on an annual basis, raise premiums and may non-renew your plan for the following year.
It’s smart to compare Medicare Advantage Plans
Of all the different types of senior medical insurance, it makes the most sense to compare Medicare Advantage Plans. If you are shopping for a Medicare supplement / Medigap policy, your work is much easier because plans are standardized. A Medigap Plan N will have the same features from one company to the next. The difference will be the price of the supplement and how you feel about the level of customer service you may receive.
If your senior medical insurance is provided by your former employer, you may have a choice of plans or you may not. You generally accept what is offered because you believe that you are receiving a benefit as a reward for your years of service.
But, when it comes to Medicare Advantage Plans, all bets are off. There is no standardization. Plans can:
- Charge different premiums.
- Have different co-pays.
- Include Part D…. or not.
- Require you to see certain network providers.
This is not to discourage you to shop for or compare Medicare Advantage Plans. In fact, if you are considering a Medicare Advantage Plan as your chosen type of senior medical insurance, it will be in your best interest
to do your homework.