Medicare Advantage plans allow you to receive your benefits from a private insurance company approved by Medicare. If you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can receive your benefits from a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are not supplemental insurance, but rather health insurance plans of their own. Medicare Advantage can also include prescription drug coverage in addition to vision, hearing, and dental. In most cases, you can join even if you have been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, except for End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare Advantage plans must follow guidelines established by Medicare but they can vary in terms of costs and rules.
Payments and Enrollment?
With a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to lower your out-of-pocket costs. Some Medicare Advantage plans have lower co-payments than Medicare Parts A and B, but are also limited to certain service areas and often involve networks. You may have to pay a premium each month due to the extra benefits you may receive from the plan. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period and there are also Special Enrollment Periods for certain situations. The amount that you pay yourself varies from plan to plan, so it is necessary to compare plans in order to find the plan most suitable to your needs. You can enroll in plans by paper, telephone or an online application.
What are my Options?
Are there any risks and what if I’m not satisfied?
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can’t have a Medigap policy, because Medicare Advantage Plans cover many of the same benefits.
With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are still in the Medicare program and can still get complete Part A and Part B coverage through the plan. If the plan opts to end its involvement with Medicare, you will need to choose another plan or enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.