What is the Medicare Advantage plan?
Most Medicare Advantage plans are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) or Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). They depend on the region. Select providers from a list of insurance companies to maximize your savings. In return, you generally get additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn't offer, including food delivery, fitness plans, vision care, and more.
Medicare Advantage plans allow you to choose a private insurance company to receive your Medicare benefits. Insurance companies often refer to Medicare Advantage as Medicare Part C. These plans combine Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (medical insurance), and sometimes Part D (prescription drug coverage). You will continue to pay your Part B premiums and sometimes your Medicare Advantage premiums, depending on the plan you choose.
The US government requires that Medicare Advantage plans offer at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare. However, each plan may have a specific fee structure. This includes copays for doctor visits and deductions for medical care and drugs.
Take a close look at each Medicare Advantage plan and think about your average and projected medical needs throughout the year when choosing a new plan.
How are Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans different?
Medigap or Medicare add -on plans are plans that private insurance companies offer to Original Medicare members. You cannot have Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time.
Insurance companies offer Medigap plans to help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare may have. This includes some copays and coinsurance, blood transfusions up to the first three pints, and overseas care. The government requires insurance companies to standardize Medigap plans, so the main difference is the cost you pay based on the rates or quotes provided by the insurance company.
Medicare Advantage plans cover Parts A, B, and sometimes D. They are not standardized and depend on where you live.
What should I expect from Medicare Advantage?
With Medicare Advantage, you pay your monthly premiums, contributions, and coinsurance costs when you visit your doctor. The cost of these services depends on the plan you choose. Also remember that you will continue to pay your monthly Part B premium unless you have special help.
An estimated 60% of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage pay no premiums. In 2020, the average Medicare Advantage member paid $ 25 per month for their Medicare Advantage premiums. About 6% of people pay more than $ 100 per month.
Medicare Advantage plans tend to have higher contributions than Original Medicare plans, which means you can pay more out of pocket.
When can I become a member of the Medicare Advantage plan?
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage at several important times during the year:
• Your Initial Enrollment Period : You become eligible for Medicare in the first three months before your 65th birthday, the month you were born, and three months after the month you were born when you were first eligible for Medicare.
• Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15 – December 7.
• 5-Star Special Enrollment Period : December 8 and November 30 (You can only enroll in a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan at this time)
• Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment: January 1 – March 31.
Once you find the insurance company that interests you the most, contact them directly for more information on how to enroll in Medicare Advantage during the enrollment period.
How We Choose the Best Medicare Advantage Plans
For this ranking, we analyzed more than 40 insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans. The main criteria were the availability of plan options, a wide range of premium costs and national coverage, so that more people would benefit from the qualification. We also look at a Medicare Star Rating of 4 or higher as it reflects the level of customer service and loyalty of current plan subscribers. In addition to these criteria, we evaluate the plan's websites for availability of information, navigability, and ease of subscription to the plan. We also analyze awards, recognitions, and ratings from well-known third-party consumer products and data analytics companies.