Medicare Advantage Insurance
Medicare Advantage Insurance plans are often referred to as Medicare Part C. Today, more than 10 million people with Medicare are covered under a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage Plans offer the same benefits as Part A and B plus additional benefits that original Medicare does not cover. Depending on the carrier and plan, some Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription coverage as well. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered in a few different forms, including HMO and PPO plans.
HMO- plans have no “out of network” coverage and a referral from your primary physician is required to see a specialist. HMO plans tend to have lower out of pocket costs and comprehensive prescription coverage.
PPO- plans have “in” and “out of network” coverage and referrals are not required. PPO Advantage plans tend to have higher copayments and more out of pocket costs compared to an HMO.
Depending on your coverage area, some Medicare Advantage plans include dental, vision, hearing, and/or a gym membership. Also dependent on your coverage area, some plans are free ($0 monthly premium). That’s right, no monthly premium!
You have to consider if a Medicare Advantage plan is right for your needs and most importantly your budget. A few things to consider are:
• If you are on a tight budget and are looking for an affordable option to help pay for your doctor visits, preventive visits, prescription coverage, and hospitalization coverage, then a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you!
• If you travel out of state or live half of the year in another state then an Advantage plan is right for you!
• If you are looking for coverage that will help pay for benefits original Medicare doesn’t cover and prescription benefits that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg than a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you!
If you are still unsure about how a Medicare Advantage plan works or whether or not an Advantage plan is appropriate for you, you came to the right place.
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How to Shop for Medicare Advantage Insurance
Medicare Advantage is a comprehensive form of Medicare insurance that includes many of the pieces that most people are looking for to make a complete insurance plan. It contains a long list of Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans such as the Medicare Part D for prescription coverage. The one thing about the Advantage program that many people do not realize in the beginning is that it is sold by private insurance companies that are authorized by Medicare to sell the product. When you are ready to buy Advantage insurance, there are a few things you should do as you go through the process.
Even though Medicare Advantage is administered by the federal government, there are differences in the pricing that each carrier offers. The government has given a price range that carriers can use to determine their pricing. That means that you should treat Medicare Advantage insurance like you would treat any other competitive product. When you go out to get prices, get prices from at least three different companies. The more prices you get, the better your chances of getting a competitive rate. Remember that the type of coverage is regulated by the government. It is the pricing that varies between the different providers.
When you go hunting for Medicare Advantage insurance, be sure that you understand what each Medicare Supplemental Insurance package does. You should also make sure that you are comparing policies with the same supplements in them. You may be looking at what you think is a great price from one of the carriers, only to find out the some of the supplements are different than other quotes you have received. Put together the Advantage package you are looking for and make sure that all of the quotes you get will put you on the same page with each company. You want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples to get the right pricing.
As with any insurance quote, you should get all of your Medicare Advantage quotes in writing. It is easier to put your quotes side by side and compare them when you have them in written form. Getting your quotes in writing also protects you from having the carrier change the pricing on your actual policy. When you find the price and the carrier you are comfortable with, then go ahead and make your purchase. We all need health insurance, but you just want to make sure that you get the insurance that is right for you.