What is Medicare Advantage, And Is It Right For You?
Most of us expect to enroll in Medicare when we turn 65 years old. But it’s not as simple as just filling out a few forms! You actually face a number of choices when you enroll and every year thereafter. Don’t we all like choices? It could mean that you identify a Medicare plan that better suits your individual needs and helps you to manage your expenses more efficiently. But first, you need to know what those choices are.
The very first choice you make will revolve around Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage. With Original Medicare, you will enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (hospitalization plus regular health insurance). Part A is free to almost everyone, but you will pay a premium for Part B coverage. Your other option is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which rolls both Part A and Part B into one convenient policy, and sometimes includes Part D (prescription drug) coverage as well.
Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies who contract with Medicare to offer you a plan that meets certain expectations. So all plans must adhere to certain required levels of coverage, but some include extra “bells and whistles” like dental care, vision care, or even perks like free gym memberships.
With Original Medicare, you can obtain healthcare services from any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare payments (and most do). But with Medicare Advantage, your healthcare is arranged through a network of providers that have agreed to work with your insurance company.
Original Medicare subjects you to a deductible and a 20 percent co-payments on Part B benefits. An Advantage plan charges co-payments according to how your plan is structured to cover each service, and so those plans can vary. Advantage plans also include an out-of-pocket cap on spending, which can help you avoid excessive medical bills.
As with any big decision, researching all of your options can help you to arrive at the decision that works best for your situation. Give us a call to discuss Medicare Advantage plans, and we’ll help you compare the options available in your area.