What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

Seniors can be covered for a variety of medical expense using Medicare Advantage plans. What is a Medicare Advantage plan? It’s a high coverage health insurance plan that is sold privately and will help to reduce overall medical expenses. It covers many common and relevant healthcare expenses for seniors, and if your current coverage isn’t taking care of you very well, then a Medicare Supplement could be very helpful.

Who Can Enroll in Medicare Advantage?

Let’s start by telling you about who this kind of health insurance plan is for. It’s defiantly aimed at seniors, as you can only apply for Medicare Advantage plans when you are 65 or older. You can start applying just before your 65th birthday, actually, up to three months before your birth month. Then, you’ll have a total of seven months in which you can apply. This whole window is known as Open Enrollment, and you can apply at any time during it.

There are some perks to applying during Open Enrollment. For one, you will be able to get any Advantage plan you apply for. The insurance companies cannot deny your application just because they see you as a medical risk. Your preexisting conditions will not be relevant at this time. The other perk is that your rates won’t be affected by any preexisting medical conditions. You get to enjoy the base rates and the best price during Open Enrollment.

The next opportunity that you will have to enroll is during annual enrollment- October 15th until December 7th. Now, if you apply at this time, your preexisting medical conditions will be factored in. If you have any conditions that make you a medical risk for insurance companies, the insurance companies might deny your application or they might decide to charge you more than they would someone who is very healthy.

One thing yeaned to know before you try to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan is that your current coverage could conflict with it. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap), or you have a health insurance plan from a union or from a current or former employer, then you will probably have conflict between the two kinds of plans. The Advantage plan will likely overlap with the other health insurance plan, and you will have to decide between one or the other.

In order to get coverage from a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need Original Medicare. It is designed to be base insurance that the Advantage plan will serve as a replacement for most of, but you’ll still receive some coverage from the base Medicare plan.

medicare advantage

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

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How Well Will It Cover You?

Next, let’s talk about what Medicare does for you. The medical benefits it provides are unlike anything you can get from other health insurance plans. Other medical coverage plans can give you some similar benefits, but nothing compares to the comprehensive protection provided by Medicare Advantage.

An Advantage plans always comes with at least a certain amount of base coverage. This is designed and guaranteed by Medicare. It includes all of the following for you:

  • Medicare Part A benefits (other than hospice care)
  • Medicare Part B benefits
  • Emergency medical care
  • Urgently needed medical services

 

There are many different kinds of Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Medicare Part C), and no matter how much coverage they can provide to you, they always have this base coverage included. Let’s look at some of the other types of Medicare Advantage plans and the benefits that they have to offer.

medicare advantage

Medicare Advantage Part D plans are quite common and may go by many different names. Some companies my call these Gold or Silver plans, and you’ll want to look closely at the coverage being provided by the insurance companies. Make sure you get the coverage you think you are getting and the coverage that you really need.

Part D Advantage plans come with all the guaranteed base coverage, of course, and then they also include Medicare Part D. This is a powerful prescription medication plan, and it will cover a range of drug costs for you, taking care of many common, generic drugs as well as some of the less common drugs or name brand medications. They most coverage is provided for those commonly used generic drugs, however.

In a lot of cases, Medicare Part D plans offer you prescription refills for as low as $1 apiece. Imagine the kind of savings you can enjoy when you have such affordable coverage.

Another kind of Medicare Advantage plan will include the basic coverage as well as coverage for routine visits to your doctor and various specialists. These checkups that are simply a part of maintaining good health can all be covered, as can basic services provided at those checkups. So, any medical tests, cleaning, x-rays and other services might be included in your Advantage plan, as could a new pair of prescription eyeglasses and new hearing aids. This kind of coverage is great for seniors who want to catch health problems in their earliest stages and stay on top of their overall health throughout the year.

How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost?

Now, let’s look at the expenses associated with Medicare Advantage. You should know upfront that Medicare doesn’t decide how much these plans cost. Medicare may have set the basic coverage and may provide oversight for medical insurance companies that sell the Advantage plans, but it does not tell those companies what price to charge for their Advantage plans.

You can use our site to look at quotes for your local area. Your zip code is what we use to determine what the rates are for where you live. We source the quotes from the insurance companies and their website, and it is much faster and easier for us to get those quotes than for you to get them yourself. You can visit each insurance company website and request quotes, but you’ll only get one at a time, and this time-consuming process may not seem worth it to you.

medicare advantage

Medicare Advantage plans typically average about $150 a month. Your local rates may be cheaper than that on average or they could be higher. You’ll have to perform a search on our site to see. Those who are not as familiar with these plans and who are wondering, “What is a Medicare Advantage plan?” will get a good idea as to how affordable Advantage plans are once they perform a search here.

We will provide you with a list of quotes, and this helps you see how the different insurance providers compare to one another. You can see who has good prices and who isn’t being very competitive. That may narrow down your choices quite a bit.

If you do some looking, you may even find some Advantage plans that are being sold with $0 monthly premiums. This can be very beneficial for those seniors who are looking for a way to keep their healthcare and their health insurance affordable.

Some Medicare Advantage plans can cost as much as $300, though. Do you really want to pay so much when you can get the same coverage for a much lower price? This is what we are trying to help seniors do, giving them a way to find good deals and avoid paying the higher prices when there are some great, affordable options available. Be sure to source some quotes through our site, using our Medicare Advantage plan finder and comparing the list of quotes that you get. The more quotes you source and compare, the more money you could be saving.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

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Who Is Selling Medicare Advantage?

You can buy Medicare Advantage plans from a number of different private insurance companies. Major insurers and smaller local insurance providers will have a few different Medicare Advantage plans to pick from. You can use our site to search for quotes from these for your local area. You will see many of the major insurers listed in the quotes that we give you, and we want to tell you a bit about some of them here. They are not all offering the same benefits and customer service experience. Please note that all these we list here may not be available in your local area.

mutal of omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Since Medicare started back in 1965, Mutual of Omaha has been there selling Medicare plans. They have developed a great reputation over the years, and customers love them for their excellent service and their affordable pricing. They boast a solid lineup of Medicare Advantage and other kinds of insurance plans, and you can save money with them by bundling multiple insurance plan types with one another.

cigna

Cigna

This insurer is one of the largest in the country. That massive network they operate allows them to give greater coverage to their members than what these people could get elsewhere. Cigna tries to keep its rates competitive, and they offer international insurance options that can keep you covered even when you travel.

aarp

AARP/United Healthcare

You can also enjoy a large coverage area with this health insurance plan. AARP has numerous senior services to offer like gym access, financial counselling, personalized diet plans, concierge services and much more. United Healthcare has partnerships with thousands of medical doctors, clinics and hospitals around the country. Together, they make for a powerful team with incredible coverage that can really benefit seniors and add value to their health insurance plans.

bluecross blueshield

Blue Cross Blue Shield

You can get some of the lowest rates available with this insurance provider. They have very low rates, and they operate as a nonprofit. They are also known for providing excellent customer service, which makes them a favorite among seniors.

These are a few of your choices, and you’ll find others as you use our site and search for quotes. If you need some help or you just have some questions, then you can feel free to give us a call.

Can I Use Medicare Advantage Everywhere?

Original Medicare has its limitations in that it cannot be used at every medical facility. If you go to a medical doctor who does not accept Medicare fully, then you aren’t going to receive full coverage from your plan. Medicare Advantage has some similar limitations.

If you go to a medical doctor, hospital or clinic where your insurance company does not have any agreement, then your Advantage plan won’t provide you with full coverage. In fact, it might not give you any coverage at all, and you may be responsible for paying for the full cost of medical care out of your own pockets.

Medicare Advantage plans are available with some different network options. What a lot of health insurance companies sell as their standard Medicare Advantage plan is the HMO Medicare Advantage plan. This will provide you with full coverage on your insurer’s network, but once you go outside the network, you are expected to pay for all medical care yourself. That can get really expensive really fast, if you are not careful.

If you don’t live near your insurer’s network area or you tend to do a lot of travelling, you might want a different kind of network option. You may benefit the most from a PPO plan. This kind of Advantage plan is more expensive than an HMO, but it also provides you with greater coverage. It’s going to be very useful for some seniors, and you should look into a PPO Advantage plan and the price that various insurance companies charge for it if you live in a rural area of the country. It’s those areas that are less likely to have network coverage and more likely to offer the PPO option.

For information about more network option and to find out more about Medicare, you can give us a call. What is a Medicare Advantage plan? It’s a great health insurance policy that you can purchase at a low price if you use our site to search for some quotes.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

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