Medicare Advantage: Why many make it their first choiceOctober 1, 2016
Don’t let the different kinds of coverage keep you from exploring
Dipping your toes in Medicare waters isn’t supposed to send a chill down your spine. With a bit of simple explanation here, I’m just sure you’ll warm up to your choices.
My goal? Make Medicare clearer so you can make the right health plan choice for you.
Let’s start with the basics.
- Original Medicare – The federal government provides Original Medicare to those who qualify, usually based on being age 65 or older.
- Medicare Supplement – People often find Original Medicare doesn’t cover enough of their needs, so they purchase more coverage through a Medicare Supplement plan.
- Medicare Advantage – Medicare Advantage plans are the most comprehensive, plus they often include prescription drug coverage so you don’t have to buy that separately, too.
Medicare Advantage plans, also called Part C plans, take the place of Original Medicare. They combine Part A (hospital), Part B (doctor’s office) and Part D (prescription) into one easy package.
Some Medicare Advantage plans also feature additional services:
- Travel assistance
- Fitness program
With all those additional services, I know some people might worry that Medicare Advantage plans cost a lot. Actually, Medicare Advantage plans are more affordable than Medicare Supplement plans.
Medicare Advantage plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, just right for those who are new to Medicare or want to understand their options. I encourage people who already have a Medicare plan to make sure it’s still meeting their needs. Even when your needs change, you’re likely to find a Medicare Advantage plan that fits.
Here’s something simple to keep in mind. If you travel, be sure to choose a plan that offers out-of-network benefits beyond emergency and urgent care. I hope this has been helpful. Please check out the other helpful portions of this series and as our easy-to-understand and easy-to-share Medicare videos:
- Getting started with Medicare
- Coming Soon: Making the most of prescription drug coverage
- Making the right Medicare choice for you
And if you need help dipping your toes or diving into Medicare—whether you’re enrolling for the first time or carefully assessing your choices for 2017—please visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org or Medicare.gov.
Jana Perry, Health Alliance vice president of sales and retention, has worked with Medicare Advantage members for more than 20 years.