If you are ready to sign up for Medicare, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans provide more than Original Medicare, making it a more robust choice. If you would like to know more about Medicare Advantage, keep reading.
What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage is often referred to as Medicare Part C. It includes everything in Original Medicare Parts A and B, including:
- Hospital stays (Part A)
- Skilled nursing facilities (Part A)
- Healthcare services from health care providers (Part B)
- Preventative Services (Part B)
- Durable medical equipment (Part B)
In addition, however, it includes Medicare Part D. Part D covers prescription medications and vaccines/shots. Medicare Part D is not included in Original Medicare, but you can joint and pay for another Medicare drug plan.
Are all Medicare Advantage Plans the Same?
You purchase Original Medicare from the government, and every plan is basically the same. However, Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance carriers. These carriers must be approved by Medicare and follow certain guidelines, but they can add to their plans.
As a result, you may find Medicare Advantage plans with coverage for:
Of course, because the plans are sold from private carriers, the premiums can vary, so make sure to shop around for the best prices. Typically, however, regardless of the policy, you'll have lower out-of-pocket expenses when compared to Original Medicare.
What Doctors Accept Medicare Advantage?
Many providers accept Medicare because it is incredibly common. However, if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be restricted to doctors and providers who are in the plan's network. However, this is one of the main reasons the out-of-pocket expenses are lower. The providers may even have agreements with the carrier prohibiting the providers from charging you for non-covered services.
Is There an Alternative to Medicare Advantage?
If you don't want/need everything included in Medicare Advantage, but want to reduce some of your out-of-pocket costs, consider a Medigap policy. These are also sold by private insurance carriers, and they usually have low premiums. There are multiple different Medigap policies, but some cover:
- Part A deductible
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charge
And Plans K and L have out-of-pocket limits to keep your costs low.
Medicare is a great choice, but instead of Original Medicare, consider Medicare Advantage for more coverage. A Medigap policy may also be a good idea if you don't need Medicare Advantage. For more information, contact an insurance carrier today.