Medicare explainedMedicare vs. Medicaid: What’s the difference?
Choosing a Medicare plan may be one of the most vital decisions retirees must make. One factor when comparing plan options is cost. It is important to remember that not all costs are covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
If cost is a deciding factor for you, here are a few reasons that you might consider a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medical and prescription drug coverage in one
Medicare Advantage plans include Parts A and B, and typically the prescription drug portion normally covered in Part D. Coverage for these services is via the Medicare Advantage plan and not Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover many additional services.1
All the benefits of Original Medicare
With a Medicare Advantage plan, you receive all the benefits of Original Medicare coverage, plus often it may include additional benefits generally not covered via Parts A and B.
All the benefits of a stand-alone prescription drug plan
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer the benefits of a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan with other benefits that may not be available with a combination of Original Medicare and a stand-alone plan.
You will want to shop and compare all features and benefits of any Medicare Advantage plan in terms of the prescription drugs that you take and the benefits that work best for you.
Coverage for costs Original Medicare doesn't cover
Some Medicare Advantage plans cover items not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B. These might include dental and vision coverage. Additionally, some plans might cover some costs at levels higher than the maximums covered by Original Medicare.
Valuable extras at no extra cost
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits at no extra cost. These differ by plan and you will want to consider these as well as overall costs and coverages of the plans you are looking at.
Some examples might include help with gym memberships, 24-hour nurse lines, a mail-order pharmacy, and caregiver support.
Various forms of coverage
Medicare Advantage plans offer a variety of coverage forms including:2
- Preferred provider organization (PPO)
- Health maintenance organization (HMO)
- Private fee-for-service
- Special needs plans HMO point-of-service
- Health Savings Accounts
One of these types of formats might be a good option for your needs.
Low or no monthly premium
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer low monthly premiums that may range all the way down to zero. There are still costs to be concerned with and you will need to shop and compare the total costs of any plan that you are considering.
You will still need to pay your Medicare Part B premiums under a Medicare Advantage plan. You will also need to look closely at any coinsurance, copays or deductibles that are required. The costs of any prescription drugs should also be considered.
Consider Medicare Advantage
A Medicare Advantage plan might be a good option for you. Low or zero premium plans with all the coverage of Original Medicare, a drug plan and other added features can be a good way to go for many people.
Do your homework by comparing plans and features to see if a Medicare Advantage plan is the right option for you.
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