Most people think that once they choose a supplement Plan, they’re done. For better or worse, health insurance options change every year, and Medicare, itself, has been changing recently. The coverage that offers the most benefits at the best value this year may be outdated next year. The only way to know that is to compare Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans regularly.
With Medicare alone, beneficiaries can incur out-of-pocket costs for both doctor and hospital bills. Few realize that Medicare Advantage plans are considered to be a part of Medicare – Part C actually – and Advantage plans get government subsidies. In some cases, they literally have $0 premiums, which means they cost no more than you’re already paying for Part B premiums.
Unfortunately, Medicare Advantage plans are not generally available. Some parts of the country, particularly urban centers, have dozens of choices. In rural areas, few such plans may be available, though. All Advantage plans come from private health insurance companies, so they are not equally distributed to all Medicare recipients.
Where Advantage plans are available, they typically expand on Medicare’s coverage. Most add benefits to help with dental services and eyeglasses. Many prescriptions, but not all, are also usually covered. Approximately 10.7 million beneficiaries have substituted Medicare Advantage plans for Medicare coverage and nine million Medicare Supplements with a Medigap Insurance plan.
Compare Medicare Advantage Plans From Different Insurance Companies at https://www.medicareadvantage2019.org/aarp-medicare-advantage-plans-2019/
It’s just like shopping for any major purchase. The best way to save premium dollars is to compare different MA plans offered by various insurance companies.
Advantage plans do have to comply with Medicare rules. In addition, MA plans are now rated for quality on a five-star scale. Plans with the highest rating can get more federal subsidies, which is expected to keep premiums low. So far, not many plans are earning five stars, but the rating system is new. More companies will probably start to compete harder for the extra earnings.
Since these plans to come from private companies, you’ll find a lot of variance in the rules. Some of the most important considerations are whether individual plans cover your doctor and your medicine. Not all plans cover every prescription drug. These plans also have their own network of doctors and hospitals that have negotiated to keep charges low. Most Advantage plans will not cover treatment obtained from beyond their network.