Medicare Advantage Swells in 2018

The Medicare Advantage plan offered by private companies is on the rise in the year 2018. A Medicare Advantage plan covers all benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B. It should cover all the benefits provided by the original Medicare plan. The following are included in a Medicare Advantage plan:

  • Special Needs Plans
  • Medical Savings Plans
  • Free-for-Service Private Plans
  • Preferred Provider Organizations
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Prescription Drug Coverage

The HMO Plan

The basic services that a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) includes the services of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. You should get care from the providers in the plan’s network except in cases of urgent care outside your area, emergency care and dialysis outside your area. Some plans cover the care received out of network for some services, but they are usually more expensive. Hence, if you want to go for a less costly option, you must get the care from your network’s providers. The plan that covers some out-of-network services is called HMO with a POS (point of service) option. There are some HMO plans that do cover prescription drugs, while others don’t. Thus, when choosing a plan, make sure you get the HMO Plan that should be able to offer coverage for prescription drugs.

Why Are Medicare Advantage Plans Sought More Than the Original Medicare?

The Medicare Advantage plans are like private insurance that offer Part A and B benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also include benefits like gym membership and eye exams. Due to an increase in premium for Medicare and supplemental insurance, people are enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans. The increasing Medigap and Medicare cost and deductibles in the year 2018 are also a major reason why more people are opting for Medicare Advantage. Some insurance carriers like Aetna Medicare are now offering Medicare Advantage plans along with Medicare supplements plans in a lot of states.

How Can You Join a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Before joining a Medicare Advantage plan, note that all Medicare Advantage plans work differently. You need to take some time out to find the best plans in your area and compare the benefits covered by each one. Once you have decided on the plan and analyzed the cost, you can search that specific plan’s website and check if you can join online. Otherwise, you can contact the plan to fill out the enrollment form and return the enrollment form to the plan. All Medicare Advantage plans should be able to offer this facility. When you decide to join the Medicare Advantage plan, you would be required to give your Medicare number and the date at which your Part A or B coverage began. All the related information is available on your Medicare card.

A Word of Caution

The Medicare plan should not call you to enroll in the plan. That should only be done on your consent. Choose your plan wisely. Also, do not give out your financial information like your account number or credit card information over the phone. You would be required to choose a primary doctor in the HMO Plan. You may be required a referral in some cases to see a specialist, though some services do not require referrals like mammogram screening. In case your primary doctor or any health care provider leaves the plan, you would be notified by the plan. You’d be required to pay the whole cost in case you get health care outside the plan. You also need to follow the rules given in your plan.

Final Thoughts

The year 2018 saw an immense increase in people choosing Medicare Advantage plans over the original Medicare. The major reason behind this is an increase in the premium and deductibles. The Medigap cost has also surged. Many Medicare Advantage plans also include services like gym membership and eye exams that have resulted in more people opting for plans offered by private companies. If you want to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure that you compare the plans offered in your area and choose one that covers prescription drug cost and offers the maximum benefits.