Decisions – Consider Both Sides
First and foremost, all Medicare Plans are based on where you live, specifically the county you live in. As an example side by side counties can have very different plans available. This is due to the medical facilities in those counties. Medicare Advantage Plans are geared toward convenience for their recipients.
Medicare Advantage is an option to the Original Medicare (Parts A and B) offered by the federal government. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies and will offer considerable comprehensive benefits, with some Advantage plans including prescription drug coverage, Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefits. Medicare Advantage is not appropriate for everyone, which is why we are here to help you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage plans are available in several forms, just like private insurance. These include HMOs, which have a cheap network but NO out-of-network coverage. PPOs, on the other hand, have a smaller discount but have the freedom to go out of network at a higher co-pay.
There are choices for almost anyone, a licensed agent in your area or county can help you decide the plan that fits your needs. Within these types of plans, there could be a great deal of variation in terms of what levels of coverage the plans have, how high are the copays, the network, the deductibles, the premiums, and anything else that might affect whether the strategy fits you.
How Advantage Works
Medicare Advantage works differently from Original Medicare. Under Original Medicare, the federal government runs the whole plan. The Federal Government contracts private insurance companies to create and operate Medicare Advantage plans with various options to choose from. There are regulations and laws that the Federal Government dictates for Advantage Plans, yet it’s managed by private insurance companies following the guidelines set out by law. The government then pays those companies for upkeep and management of the various offered plans.
Private health insurance companies are required by law to cover the same Part A and Part B services as Original Medicare, but they’re able to offer additional coverages as long as the minimum services are met. For instance, most of these plans choose to include prescription drug coverage, dental coverages, vision and hearing plans that are not part of the Original Medicare Part A & B plan. You interact with the insurance company rather than the government making it much simpler. Remember, you must maintain your Part A & Part B coverage to be eligible for Medicare Advantage Plans.
What are the Real Benefits?
Looking at the advantages of Medicare Advantage Plans is the ability to let you make choices about the plan benefits. Original Medicare alone tends to be one size fits all. With Medicare Advantage, you will get a great deal more offered that can be less expensive.
What are the drawbacks?
Medicare Advantage Plans have drawbacks as well. It is a choice of options that you have decided with your licensed agent to decide which are more important to your particular scenario. As you have probably realized by now, this can be a confusing area to consider without professional help and then you have to consider if the agent has the experience and knowledge to offer the correct plan. That being said, it is better to deal with a licensed agent that can look at the whole picture and offer solutions from many firms, not just one.
Because plans are different from one insurance company to the next, realistically you might have to give one thing up to get another. For instance, not in all cases, but there are plans with little or no premium cost that might have higher deductibles. It would be wise to talk with a licensed agent 3 months before you turn 65 or discuss what options you might have during the Annual Open Enrollment period that takes place October 15th until December 7th. This is very highly regulated and you can change around the programs or plans that you have during this time. A licensed agent can help you decide if you need to change any of your plans
Freedom To Choose the Best Program
We don’t live in a dictatorial society, there are plenty of options to choose from and you get the freedom with help from a licensed agent to find a strategy that will match your specific needs. This is not possible with Medicare alone. The flexibility will guarantee you the opportunity to make the best choice for your budget while at the same time getting a great network for the services types that you wish to use and more.
Ease of Use
Typically, when you have an advantage plan, when you visit the doctor or other healthcare providers, just like your former insurance plan, all you do is give the receptionist your Medicare ID and Medicare Advantage Plan Card and see the provider. It really is the same you have been used to for many years.
As discussed earlier, while Medicare Advantage may be an excellent match for most, it is absolutely not appropriate for everybody. Here is a deeper look into several of the disadvantages of Medicare Advantage plans.
Availability of Plans in Rural Areas
Availability can be restricted. Based on what you like and where you live, Advantage plans may be uncommon or plentiful. Not all insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage Plans in all areas. The plans are dictated by the county you live in and the medical facilities available.
Is it possible to Change Your Medicare Advantage Plan After Enrolling?
You can change or perhaps disenroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only one time per year. This happens during the Annual Election Period (AEP) which takes place every year between October 15th and December 7th. In case you decide to switch plans, you will not have to be concerned about disenrolling from your old plan, your agent and Medicare will make that change for you once you have been approved.