If you’re among the millions of Americans turning 65 this year, then you’re probably planning on enrolling in Medicare soon. This can seem like an overwhelming process with so many different options to consider, but it doesn’t have to be so complicated. If you follow these guidelines, you can find a great Medicare Advantage Plan that will best meet your needs and help you ensure your health into old age.
Understanding What Is a Medicare Advantage Plan
A Medicare Advantage plan is offered by a private company, and they’re an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). These plans will generally have better coverage than traditional Medicare but are also typically more expensive. The premiums you pay depend on your income, where you live, whether or not you use tobacco products and other factors.
The Types of Medicare Advantage Plans
There are several types of Medicare Advantage plans, including HMOs and PPOs. PPO stands for preferred provider organization and means that members have access to participating providers within your plan’s network but may still use out-of-network providers at their own expense. With an HMO, or health maintenance organization, you choose from one of three in-network primary care physicians with whom you make all appointments.
5 Things You Need to Know Before Enrolling in a MA Plan
A health insurance plan may be one of the most important purchases you make in your lifetime, but it can also be one of the hardest to navigate. That’s why knowing all of the facts up front will save you time and money in the long run, as well as avoid confusing or misleading claims from salespeople. Here are five things to know before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.
1) Why Should I Consider An MA Plan?
MA plans are specifically designed for people who have maxed out their retirement account contribution limits and need an additional avenue of growth. If you are one of these people, you will want to consider an MA plan as they provide more opportunities than IRAs.
2) Are There Disadvantages?
The main disadvantage of a medical plan is that your insurance premiums may cost you more out-of-pocket than other health care plans. Some employers who offer medical plans reimburse their employees for monthly premium payments.
3) What are my Payment Options?
Payment options can vary depending on your employer, but you should find a way to cover your premiums that works for you.
4) Can I Stay With My Current Doctor?
Depending on your current plan and its features, you may be able to stay with your doctor.
Compare Medicare Advantage Plan by Company Rating
In our opinion, when selecting a plan it’s important to pay attention to these criteria. It may be tempting just pick one with a lower premium, but you need to make sure it provides coverage that will meet your healthcare needs and deliver quality service. Our rankings below can help you compare MA plans by company rating. We considered ratings and reviews from Medicare, AARP, and CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
3 Steps to Choose From Multiple MA Options
- Step 1: Write Down What Each Program Represents
Before you even look at programs and requirements, you should clearly understand what each program represents. What is it going to teach you? What sort of jobs will it help you get afterward?
- Step 2: Rank The Programs Based on Cost, Location, and Time
Each program will have a set tuition cost and location, so you’ll want to find out how much each program costs and if it fits your schedule. Here is how: 1) Start by ranking programs based on cost.
- Step 3: Visit the Programs
You’ve narrowed your list down, so it’s time to visit the programs and get a feel for what they have to offer.
Finding The Best Value For Your Money
This can be tricky, since many plans charge deductibles and copays for prescription drugs, and some offer separate prices for brand-name drugs versus generic medications. So be sure to do your research to find a plan that best meets your needs.
Should You Switch To A New Plan This Year?
Many individuals will move from their Original Medicare plan to a new one in 2015. If you are looking for more benefits or just want to change things up, switching your plan may be an option for you. Many factors go into selecting an appropriate plan, so make sure you consider them all before making your final decision.