- Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
- Private Fee-for-Service Plans
- Medicare Special Needs Plans
When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you use the health insurance card that you get from the plan for your health care. In most of these plans, generally there are extra benefits and lower copayments than in the Original Medicare Plan. However, you may have to see doctors that belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get services.
To join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium to Medicare. In addition, you might have to pay a monthly premium to your Medicare Advantage Plan for the extra benefits that they offer.
Understand the differences between your Medicare Advantage coverage and a Medigap Insurance Plan is very important. With a Medicare Advantage Plan there are a lot more rules and regulations you must follow compared to having a Medigap Insurance Plan, such as having to use specific doctors or hospitals on some plans, understanding that if you move away from the county you live in to another county that your current plan is not offered in will me that you will automatically loose that coverage, also knowing that you are locked into a Medicare Advantage Plan for a years time if you do not decide with in a few months of accepting that coverage to change or drop it.
There are a few things you should be aware of. First, while Medicare Advantage plans may look like an unbeatable deal, there are plenty of hidden costs associated with them. Many seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans are hit with unexpected costs they didn’t budget for, and these costs are rising year to year. Availability of Medicare Advantage plans can vary from area to area.
Because of the additional security it provides, we recommend Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F or G rather than Medicare Advantage to most of our clients. Most seniors find it easier to budget consistently for coverage under Plan F than to face the uncertainty associated with Medicare Advantage.
You shouldn’t overestimate the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans. While Medicare Advantage plans sometimes appear to provide fuller benefits than Medicare supplement plans, they may not actually do so. For example, Medicare Advantage vision and dental coverage is no greater than what is available from free discount programs online.
You should also be aware that any Medigap plan you hold will no longer pay deductibles, co-payments, or other cost-sharing under your Medicare health plan if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
With the different choices and options that are available to you as a Medicare Beneficiary when it come to covering the gaps left by just having Medicare alone, we strongly advise that you have a licensed, independent insurance agent on your side. Texas Medicare Advisors can be that agent that you can have a long lasting relationship with to help you understand and find the best Medicare insurance options available for you. Give us a call today or stop by one of our offices.