As you get older, health insurance becomes more and more important. Our health will begin to decline and deteriorate with age, which often means more doctor visits, more prescriptions and more potential for procedures. These can be expensive and could potentially ruin your retirement finances if you’re not careful.
However, if you’re retired and no longer employed, you won’t be able to get health insurance from your employer anymore. While there are several different options out there, one of the most popular is a Medicare Advantage plan.
Now, you may be asking “what is a Medicare Advantage plan?”, and if so, this article will be perfect for you. We are going to go over what a Medicare Advantage plan is and all you should know or learn about one before choosing your healthcare plan.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Before looking at Medicare Advantage plans, it is important to also understand Medicare. Medicare is a health insurance program in the USA, mainly for those over the age of 65. Tens of millions of people use Medicare for their healthcare benefits and insurance.
The basis of Medicare is known as original Medicare, which covers hospital insurance (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B). It is provided by the government and helps seniors get better access to affordable healthcare plans to suit their needs.
Now that you know a little about original Medicare, let’s look at what makes Medicare Advantage different. While original Medicare is provided by the government, Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private companies. They work with the government to cover all of your Parts A and B. Technically, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you are still a part of Medicare.
These private companies must still follow all of the rules set out by Medicare and Medicare, but they can indeed have costs and benefits that differ from one another. The amount you pay in a Medicare Advantage plan will depend on a lot of things such as your needs, the included coverage, your health and age and so many others.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Medicare Advantage Plan
So why would someone go with a Medicare Advantage plan over a standard original Medicare plan? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First and foremost, many Medicare Advantage plans come with prescription drug coverage, something not covered by original Medicare. They may also come with other benefits and coverage like vision and dental, but this isn’t always the case.
While this won’t be a free inclusion, it saves you from having to go find your own prescription or supplemental coverages, which can often be a hassle. Going with Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C), is often far more convenient.
Another benefit of a Medicare Advantage plan is that there is a limit when it comes to how much someone can spend out of pocket. This can save most people a lot of money. In original Medicare, there is no upper limit, so people might have to pay a ton of money out of pocket in some cases. This has the potential to ruin someone financially, if they’re not careful or find themselves in a very difficult situation.
These plans can often be personalized as well. So you can rest assured knowing that the plan you end up with is one that will work with your needs. Of course, along with these benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to going with these types of plans.
One such drawback is that some types of Medicare Advantage plans limit the service providers that you can visit and use. Some will only allow you to use in-network providers, or charge you an arm and a leg if you go to people not in their network. Also, Medicare Advantage only covers specific service areas, so if you travel a lot, you may not be covered.
On the other hand, original Medicare offers consistent coverage throughout the country, so you’re always covered. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your family to decide whether a Medicare Advantage plan makes sense for you or not.
Hopefully this article has been able to teach you all that you need to know about a Medicare Advantage plan. It can be a little confusing in the beginning, but it is a good idea to know all about the different types of health insurance plans before making your decision.