In order to find the best coverage plan for your needs, you have to compare the available insurance plans. We are going to help you do a Medicare Advantage plans comparison for 2018, so you can tell if one of them may be right for you.
Understanding Advantage Plans
There are a few different types of Medicare plans. It’s mostly just the basic plans that are actually offered and sold by Medicare. The Advantage plans and supplement plans are sold by third part insurance companies, some of whom you may be familiar with or may have some other type of insurance through.
While Medicare does not sell the Advantage plans, it does determine how much coverage they should have to start with. The insurance companies that sell the plans can add coverage onto that and set the prices how they like, but they do have to provide the same base coverage as all of their competitors.
That coverage is for all of Medicare Part A and for Part B as well. It also covers you for urgent care and emergency services.
On top of the basic coverage, you usually have Medicare Part D coverage, with most plans. It’s not required, but it is often included. Don’t assume Part D coverage comes with the Advantage plan you are considering, though. Be sure to check it before you sign up for the plan. If the one plan you want doesn’t have Part D coverage (which is for prescription drugs) and you want that very coverage, then you can always buy it on its own.
You can only sign up for one Advantage plan at once. Since there would be too much overlap in basic coverage between multiple plans, it doesn’t make sense to have more than one, anyway. You also have to drop most other medical insurance plans, if you have one, to sign up for an Advantage plan. Any medical coverage plans that overlaps with an Advantage plan will have to be canceled when you sign up for Advantage coverage.
Comparing Advantage Plans
You have plenty of variation in coverage from one insurance company to the next. Some of them will only sell the basic Advantage plan with minimal coverage. Others add on tons of coverage, such as coverage for supplemental expenses and annual checkups. You should keep on looking until you find one that fits you well and meets your needs.
There is more than just medical coverage to compare, however. You should also compare the network options offered for each plan. There are two basic network options- PPO and HMO. Let’s take a look at these.
The PPO network option gives you coverage anywhere you go for medical care. You can go to any hospital, doctor’s office, clinic or other medical care facility and you will receive coverage according to your plan with a PPO network option. You only get partial coverage, however, if that medical facility is one that has not accepted your insurance company’s medical coverage plans.
If you go to a hospital that is on your insurance company’s network (that has approved their coverage plans), then you get full coverage, according to your PPO plan. This is why we do a Medicare Advantage plans comparison for 2018- so you can see how different options are going to cover you.
That’s one option that’s going to cover a lot of bases for you. No matter where you live and how sparse the medical coverage network is, you will get some coverage for medical expenses.
However, you may want to go with the HMO network option instead. This doesn’t cover you anywhere you want to go. In fact, the only place it does cover you is at medical facilities that have approved your insurance company’s coverage plans. You get full coverage at those, though, just like with the PPO plan.
So, why would you want to choose an HMO plan over a PPO one? Well, the answer is price. The HMO covers you in fewer locations, so it costs a lot less. That’s why most people go for it. Let’s look now at why you should choose one to plan over another.
Choosing an Advantage Plan
So, if you live near a medical facility that will accept your insurance company’s Advantage plan, then the HMO plan seems like the obvious choice. You get coverage at a location that’s convenient for you to receive medical care at, and you pay less than with the other option. However, if you don’t live near an on-network medical facility and you would have to travel a long way to get full coverage from your insurance company, no matter which plan you chose, then a PPO plan seems like the better choice. Yes, it does cost more, but then you probably save more by being partially covered when you go for medical care.
You should compare more than just the network coverage, though. You also have to think about how you are being covered day to day for medical care. The basic Advantage plan may be enough for you, or you may need something more powerful. You have some choices, and you need to choose the one that best fits your needs. When those needs change, then your coverage plan may need to change as well.
Right now, an Advantage plan may offer too much coverage for you, but in 2018, it could be an excellent choice, as your health changes and you need more coverage. This is why we are urging you to do a Medicare Advantage plans comparison for 2018. You may find a plan that suits you very well, saving you money and covering those medical expenses that you can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Take a look at the plans that are out there, offered by numerous insurance companies into our area, and compare them to see which one is offering what you are looking for. Hopefully, you will be able to find one that helps you save money on medical care.