Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. They are not Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. Most Medicare Advantage plans come in the form of network based plans, such as HMO's & PPO's. When you enroll in one of these plans, you no longer use your Medicare card. Instead you are issued an ID card from the insurance company that you enrolled with to present when you receive medical services. However, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium that is usually deducted from your monthly Social Security check.
Insurance companies that offer these plans are paid by Medicare to provide enrolled members their Part A & B benefits. Medicare Advantage plans are also referred to as Part C of Medicare. Insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans receive a "reimbursement" for medical services they provide that can vary depending on the county in which the enrollee resides. Therefore, the benefits in the plans may vary between a "rural" county and an "urban" area.
Medicare Advantage plans are generally recognized as the less expensive way to receive Medicare benefits compared to Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement. They frequently also offer various extra benefits not available with Original Medicare such as dental, vision, hearing, and fitness memberships. The monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are generally lower than those of Medicare Supplement plans. The reason for this is due to the fact that you essentially pay for Medicare Advantage services as you use them in the form of copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
The Medicare Advantage plans available in any given area can change from year to year. My service provides a complete analysis based on your income, lifestyle, health status, doctors and hospitals you prefer, and prescribed medications to determine which of these plans best fits your needs. Since this is an independent service, I have the ability to contract with the insurance carriers that best suit the individual needs of my clients.
Because Medicare Advantage plans benefits change year to year and are dependent on government funding, it is important that you have a service to keep you informed of these changes and how to continue to get the appropriate coverages.
Call me today for more information on Medicare Advantage plans.