It’s that time of year that confuses people the most. It’s time to decide if Medicare Advantage Plans are the best healthcare decision for loved ones. While this is a great question, it’s one that often leads to a huge ball of confusion. Most people are confused because most people don’t know there are differences between Medicare Advantage Plans and the original Medicare plans.
As people begin thinking about their medical insurance, many don’t know what to choose. They don’t know what to think about their options and don’t know what questions to ask. Instead of following a friend blindly into Medicare Advantage Plans, people should look further into them before signing up.
Medicare Advantage Plans: The Basics
There is basic information that can be found about Medicare Advantage Plans. Many are surprised by the information but its information they should know.
1.Not all Advantage Plans are alike. There are many people that think all Medicare Advantage Plans are the same through the country. That is NOT TRUE. Advantage Plans are provided by Medicare approved insurance companies and have chosen to offer different benefits to their customers based on the regions, needs, prices and Medicare guidelines.
2.It’s NOT Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are not another form of Medicare. People that enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan will be surprised to learn they will no longer have Medicare A and or B. Advantage Plans REPLACE original Medicare benefits.
3.There are additional benefits that normally come with Medicare Advantage Plans that don’t come with original Medicare. While some advantage plans come with additional benefits, there are no guarantees that every plan will.
While Medicare Advantage Plans are not administered by the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do have strict guidelines that must be followed.
Medicare Advantage Plans: The Differences
As usual, there are different types of Medicare Advantage Plans available. These different plans include options for HMO plans, PPO plans, PFFS plans and SNP plans. These plans will help people determine what is best for them because the benefits are different. Just as employer insurance has, there are networks and services that beneficiaries may have to agree to use.
Some people choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans as a way to save money. Before making that decision, it’s very important that they speak in detail to the prospective insurance company about their specific needs because not all Advantage Plans are cost effective. One of the biggest surprises that many people have is that they have to pay a monthly premium for their new Medicare Advantage Plan as well as continue to pay their Medicare part B premium. There may also be copays, coinsurances and deductibles that have to be met as well. Before enrolling in these plans, people need to write their questions down and ask licensed insurance professionals.
Original Medicare plans don’t offer the same benefits that Medicare Advantage Plans do. Many Advantage Plans have prescription drug coverage, vision and dental coverage built into their policies. Many of the Advantage Plans are all inclusive. Some plans even have a fitness option so that beneficiaries can stay fit and healthy.
There are many things that people love about Medicare Advantage Plans just as there are many things that people love about original Medicare. The most basic similarity between the two is that they all have to follow the guidelines set by Medicare, CMS and the Social Security Administration. Before anyone enrolls into any Medicare Advantage Plans, detailed questions should be asked and answered.