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What to consider before you buy a Medicare Advantage plan:
Option 2: Medicare Advantage plans, also called Medicare Part C, takes Part A and Part B from the government and gives them to a private insurance company. In 2017, one-third (33%) of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
The Pros and Cons of using Medicare Advantage plans for your health care needs:
Pros of Medicare Advantage
Low or no monthly premiums
Many areas have $0 premium monthly Medicare Advantage Plans available. Most people do pay a small monthly premium for their Advantage plan though.
Drug plan included
Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover at least everything Original Medicare covers, and usually Advantage plans include more. Almost all Advantage plans include drug coverage, which you have to pay for separately if you have a Medicare Supplement.
Dental and Vision Coverage
Along with drug coverage, many Medicare Advantage plans will include coverage for dental and vision, which Medicare Supplements do not include.
Cons of Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans require members to stay within a network of certain doctors and hospitals. If you do not go to these, you might have to pay more out of pocket, even the full cost of the service.
Does not travel well
Due to networks, these policies do not travel well. If you visit family or friends in other locations a lot, you might not want to go with this option.
Plan are based on your zip code, meaning you might have very limited choice in Medicare Advantage plans or no choice at all depending on where you live.
Copays, coinsurance, and deductible
Medicare Advantage plans still require that you pay copays, coinsurance, and deductibles when you use services. If you go to the doctor a lot, you might want to consider the Medicare Supplement options as it might cost less over time.
Can only be switched during Annual Enrollment
Medicare Advantage plans can only be switched during Annual Enrollment from October 15th- December 7th every year. This means if you get in your policy and don’t like it, you still have to wait it out for a year. Medicare Supplements can be changed at any time.
Make sure you call more than one company, or use a brokerage that works with multiple companies to get all of the information necessary to make an informed decision.
You can learn more on Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage by reading our blog.
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