Medicare Advantage plans are another way to get Medicare benefits. Medicare Advantage plans replace your original Medicare Part A and B benefits through a private insurance company. In order to be competitive, most Advantage plans add extra coverage. For example, many help with hearing aids, eyewear, dental services, and prescription drugs, while Medicare does not, with one exception. It helps in developing cataracts.
Low premiums one of the big selling points behind the growth of Medicare Advantage enrollment. In some areas, plans are available that cost nothing, exceeding Medicare Part B premiums. A major attraction is that Medicare Advantage Plans accept all health problems other than end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
However, there are some things that you need to understand before signing up for these plans. Many plans cover only non-emergency care through their own list of hospitals and doctors. Because Medicare Advantage plans replace Medicare coverage, you do not need to have Medicare coverage if you need a doctor outside the network.
Each of the Medicare Advantage plans sets its own rules, but all must adhere to the policies of Medicare. All Advantage plans must provide equal or better coverage than Medicare. To make sure that you are able to get the required medical care, check the list of doctors and what recipes a plan will pay before you sign up.
It’s rare that health insurance companies offer trial periods, but that’s exactly what you can do with plenty of varying Medicare Advantage plans. Sign up before December 15, and should you change your mind, you can switch to Medicare between January 1 and February 14 the next year.
There’s a special ‘try it out’ period which Medicare Advantage plans have. This is actually the time to try one of the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans after the first sign-up phase when you were first eligible for Medicare. This is an event that happens once a yearly where you can assess the type of MA plan you receive from the dozen or so insurers and insurance companies you have chosen. If you let that chance slip you could end up paying more and getting less cover than you expected.
Depending on where you live, you may find a wider choice between MA plans than Medigap Insurance plans. Unless you live in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, or Minnesota, there are only 10 options for Medigap plans. The states mentioned have their own version of Medigap plans.
This year, the open enrollment has been postponed to an earlier date to get it done well before the end of the year. Beneficiaries will now be informed that their benefits will begin on 1st January.
From 15 October to 7 December, Medicare beneficiaries can enroll for a Medicare Advantage plan from a private health insurance company, but it’s better to seek a plan as soon as possible. MA plans are not widely available, but in the urban environment there can be a range of choices. There are reports that more than 24 different plans are available at specific locations.