Seniors have been using Medicare Advantage plans for years to reduce their medical care costs, enjoying a comprehensive healthcare insurance plan that covers them in ways that other plans never could. We are going to examine the Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018 and see how they will cover you. Then you can determine for yourself whether these plans are a good choice for you or not.
How You’ll Be Covered
You want to start by looking at what the plans will do for you regarding your medical expenses. They can cover a significant portion of them, but not everyone will get great value from an Advantage plan. For some people, the coverage will be about right, while others will find it is too much and others still may not be getting quite enough coverage with the average Advantage plan. Everyone has different needs, so let’s look at what these plans do and you can decide for yourself how they stack up to what you need from a medical insurance plan.
The basic coverage that all Advantage plans have to come with includes coverage for emergency medical care (also known as urgent care). This covers you for things like emergency room costs, ambulance services and more.
The basic coverage will also take care of Medicare Part A and Part B, except for hospice care coverage. You might recognize this as pretty much all of the basic Medicare plan as well as most supplemental coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are meant to replace your basic Medicare plan, and they are a good substitute for supplement plans as well. If you have a plan, like a Medigap coverage plan, then you will have to drop it to be eligible for the Advantage plan.
Basic coverage for Advantage plans can also include coverage for annual checkups for your vision, your hearing and your general wellbeing. Ho much coverage you get here will depend on which plan you choose, though. There is some basic coverage included, but further optional coverage may come with the plan.
That optional coverage usually includes cover for Medicare Part D, otherwise known as prescription drug coverage. This is a plan that you could buy separately if you wanted to, but it is often included in Advantage plans, so be sure to check for that coverage before you sign up for an Advantage plan. As with supplemental coverage, you will have to drop that overlapping Part D coverage if you already have it before you sign up for an Advantage plan that also includes it.
Who Are Advantage Plans Meant for?
Each kind of medical coverage plan is designed for a certain kind of person. The basic Medicare plan, for example, is meant for the average senior. It doesn’t offer too much or too little coverage and is usually a good all-around plan. Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018, on the other hand, are designed for people who have a lot of medical issues or who must go to the hospital on a regular basis. These are people who need a lot of coverage, and Advantage plans offer just that. There are few plans that can come close to offering what they do.
Once you sign up for an Advantage plan, you will enjoy serious coverage that should take care of most of your medical care costs. You should be paying very little out of your own pockets for healthcare after you sign up for one of these plans, and that’s why people love them so much. They know that they don’t need to pay much attention to their medical care costs at that point. They can trust that the Advantage plan will cover them for pretty much anything. It really simplifies things for most seniors, but for some of them, it is quite excessive.
What you don’t want to do is pay for a lot of coverage that doesn’t really apply to you. If the Advantage plan offers you a bunch of coverage that you don’t need and that would never apply to you, then you want to choose something else to sign up for. It’s not really meant for you. You should be examining the coverage closely on any Advantage plan you want to buy and see how it compares to what you need from a coverage plan. That means that you will have to look at your own budget and healthcare needs and see how the Advantage plan compares.
Saving Money on Coverage
Now, you can end up paying a lot for coverage you don’t need if you sign up for the wrong Advantage plan. You can also get a great deal, if you know what to look for and how to compare costs and coverage.
There is more than one Advantage plan, though. Each insurance company that sells these plans usually has their own version of the plan. Remember, some will have Part D coverage and some won’t. There can also be some other minor coverage differences between plans. But coverage is not the only thing you should be comparing. You also want to look at pricing, as the rates can change from one insurance company to the next. Medicare doesn’t really regulate what those prices can be; the free market does.
So, it is in your best interests to get as many quotes as you can from insurance companies that are offering this plans in your area and compare them to see who has the best price. Keep in mind that you may be comparing plans with different levels of coverage, so be sure to figure that into your calculations.
Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018 can be a great way to cut back how much you are paying for medical care all year long. But you will need to see how it compares to what you need and you will need to make certain that you get the best available deal on coverage.