While you can enjoy lots of healthcare coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan, you could easily end up with a plan that’s not very well suited to you. Lots of seniors sign up for medical coverage plans that are overly expensive and cover way more than they need covered, while others pay for plans that do very little for them and are inadequate. We are going to help you compare 2018 Medicare Advantage plans to get the right plan for your needs.
Medical Expenses Covered by Medicare Advantage
With the Advantage plans, you get basic plans as well as ones that have the basic coverage, plus something else.
The basic plans will cover you only for Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as for urgent medical care and emergency services. That is actually quite a bit of coverage, but your plan doesn’t have to stop there.
If you get a more robust Medicare Advantage plan, then you can be covered for not only those expenses, but also for your prescription drug costs, for lots of checkups you may need throughout the year and more. There is a huge variety of medical expenses that Medicare Advantage plans could cover for you, but it is up to the individual insurance companies that sell these plans to decide what additional items they want to include.
You can bet that you will pay more for more comprehensive Advantage plans, so make sure that you need all that coverage you are being offered before choosing a plan that has a ton of coverage.
The coverage being offered will vary from one insurance company to the next. Some of them like to stick to the basic plan, while others like to include additional coverage.
You want to choose a coverage plan that fits you well, so before you go and compare what these various plans offer, you should know what it is you need. You can look at how much you are paying for medical expenses and what kind of coverage you have right now. Odds are that you will have to drop that coverage to sign up for a Medicare advantage plan, since no overlap between medical coverage plans is allowed.
Once you know what you need, then you can focus on the kind of plan that has that. So, if you believe that you just need the basic coverage, you can compare plans that only have that kind of coverage. You can compare their pricing and see how they stack up to plans that offer just a bit more. It’s not a bad thing to have slightly more coverage than you need right now, just as a cushion against potential emergencies and medical problems in your future.
Comparing Network Options
You obviously need to compare the coverage on the plans to find the one that suits your needs best, but when it comes to Advantage plans, you need to compare 2018 Medicare Advantage network options as well.
The network consists of the list of hospitals and clinics and such that have accepted a given insurance company’s coverage plans. The ones that won’t accept their coverage plans are identified as being off the network. Each insurance company has a different network, so just because the hospital near you is not on one company’s network, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be on another’s.
If the hospital you visit is on your insurance company’s network, then you get full coverage, according to your plan, when you go there for treatment. You have two primary options for network plans with Medicare advantage- PPO and HMO.
The HMO plan is the one most people go for, and that gives you full coverage only at the network locations and nowhere else. It’s relatively cheap and very simple.
If you go with the PPO option, then you get full coverage on the network and partial coverage off the network. That means you can go anywhere you want for medical care and get at least some coverage, according to your insurance plan. As you might imagine, that kind of coverage will cost you more.
When you compare plans, you also need to compare their costs. You can do that by getting quotes from one insurance company after another. That may take a while, but it’s what a lot of people do. They just collect those quotes and then compare them to find the best deal. Another, faster way to do that is to use a price comparison service, of which you can find a few online. These are websites that compare the prices for you. Just tell them what kind of plan you are looking for and they will source a bunch of quotes for you. That makes it very easy to compare them and find out who is offering the lowest price.
It’s important to compare costs on these plans and not just go for the first Advantage plan that fits your budget or looks appealing. You will never know what you are missing out on and how much money you could save until you compare plans and see what the prices are.
This takes time, of course, and effort, and it will be worth that work. If you take time to choose the most appropriate plan for your needs, then you will save money over time and not have to worry so much about whether you will be able to afford the medical care you receive. Having the best Medicare Advantage plans gives you peace of mind and makes you feel better about going to the hospital or visiting your doctor.
We recommend every senior consider signing up for Medicare Advantage plans, but before they do, they should compare 2018 Medicare Advantage coverage, cost and network options to find what will work best in their situation. What works well for their friends or family may not be very suitable for them, so this is an individual choice that everyone must make.