Can enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans save you from financial disaster?
Healthcare costs have skyrocketed, which puts many families under financial stress. That financial stress creates mental and physical health issues, completing a vicious cycle.
The elderly in this country are even more susceptible to financial stress related to healthcare costs. Even though they’re enrolled in Medicare, the program covers about 65% of medical costs. Medicare Advantage can help close that gap.
Keep reading to find out more about Medicare Advantage and learn if it’s a good fit for you.
Medicare is complicated. There are different parts, covering different things. How do you know which Medicare you have? Let’s look at the world of Medicare and demystify the world of government health care for seniors.
Have you heard of Original Medicare? That’s a term that’s used to describe Medicare Part A. You know that Medicare tax that’s always taken out of your paycheck? This is where you see that money again. There’s no monthly premium to pay with Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part A is used as hospital insurance. When you meet your deductible, you pay for a percentage of the hospital stay. To qualify, you’ve had to have worked for 10 years and paid into Medicare. You’ll see your benefits when you turn 65.
Medicare Part B is more like standard health insurance. You have a monthly premium to pay, along with a deductible. Your visits to the doctor, x-rays, and outpatient care are all covered by your Part B plan.
Medicare Part C is private health insurance that will have additional benefits, along with covering everything in Medicare Parts A & B.
Medicare Part D is part of the Medicare program, which will cover your prescription drugs.
What Are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Medicare Advantage plans fall under Medicare Part C. These are private insurance plans that cover Medicare Parts A & B. They also have other benefits, which will differ depending on the plan you choose.
Medicare Advantage Plans are different from supplemental insurance, called Medigap programs.
You’ll want to read this primer on Medicare Advantage plans to understand how they fully work.
Qualifications for Medicare Advantage:
Unfortunately, you can’t just sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan and get coverage. That’s too easy!
You have to be sure you’re qualified to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. For starters, you already have to have Medicare Parts A and B.
You have to check with providers who cover your local area and sign up with a provider that takes new clients.
One disqualification to sign up for Medicare Advantage is if you have end-stage renal disease. You may be able to obtain a special needs plan for coverage if this is the case.
Why Enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans:
There are plenty of reasons to sign up for Medicare Advantage. The first is peace of mind. If you’re not sleeping well it could be due to financial stress. Medicare Advantage could give you the peace of mind to know that your healthcare costs are covered.
Medicare Advantage plans offer 90 trials, so you can try the plan for yourself for three months. Before taking a plan for a trial, you should carefully evaluate the plan so you can make sure that you’re fully covered during this period.
How Would You Like a Lower Premium?
There are Medicare Advantage plans that have no premium. You’ll want to check with providers in your area to see if they offer one of these plans.
Transportation is Covered:
Do you need rides to and from doctor’s appointments? That’s one of the great benefits that Medicare Advantage plans provide. Starting in 2019, meal delivery and transportation can be covered in Medicare Advantage plans.
More Competition = Better Healthcare:
Medicare Advantage is privately run by different health care companies. Some will focus on certain areas, but they will have competition. That competition can lead to a better healthcare plan with more benefits for a lower premium.
The providers who support Medicare Advantage focus on a smaller, regional area. With that intense local focus, you’re likely to have a broader choice of local providers under your plan.
Evaluating Medicare Advantage Plan:
When you’re choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, you are limited to the providers that serve your area. Before selecting a plan for a trial, there are some things that you want to evaluate first.
For example, you want to check to see the hospitals and doctors the plans cover. Providers and doctors change plans pretty often, so you don’t want to make assumptions.
If you have a regular doctor, check to make sure they’ll accept Medicare Advantage before you sign up.
Evaluate the Total Out of Pocket Costs:
The thing that makes healthcare unnerving for so many is that you can’t predict your healthcare costs. You’ll want to consider the out of pocket maximums and your current health.
Be sure to double and triple check the prescription drugs that are covered under Medicare Advantage. Compare the costs to what you’re getting under Medicare Part D and see where you come out ahead.
Medicare Advantage Can Give You Peace of Mind:
Americans are under more financial stress than ever. A good part of that financial stress is due to uncontrollable healthcare costs. All it takes is one emergency and a person can lose their retirement savings.
You don’t have to be in that position. With a medical insurance program such as Medicare Advantage plans, you can make sure that your medical bills are taken care of. That will leave you to enjoy your retirement.
Are you thinking about your retirement plans? Take a look at this article to discover the best places to retire to.