Shopping for an appropriate and cost-effective insurance plan can be an overwhelming experience. There are many choices but not all options are suitable for everyone. Medicare Advantage Plans have been popularly used since the programs were first introduced in 1997. Also known as “MA Plans” or “Part C,” these programs are part of Medicare. Are you 65 years of age or above? It will be of great benefit to carefully assess whether or not this program is for you, and to contrast its benefits with other health insurance programs.
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When it comes to Medicare, you will have to choose between Original Medicare Programs or Medicare Advantage Plans. An easy method for choosing between the two types of programs is to determine if you would like to offset the costs of prescription drugs. In many cases, those who require prescription drugs opt for original Medicare since it does cover the cost of prescription drugs under Part D of the program. On the other hand, the advantage plan does not cover the cost of prescription drugs.
Keep in mind that, for an additional cost, you can add prescription drug coverage on advantage plans. However, you will not be able to add Medigap Insurance to the plan. Medigap is a type of insurance policy that covers aspects of your health insurance that are not covered under an original Medicare plan.
So, what benefits do advantage plans provide? Unlike Medigap Insurance, an advantage plan is not supplemental insurance. Instead, this type of insurance is offered through private insurance companies who work with Medicare in order to cover all cost bases. In other words, your Medicare plan will be handled by the private insurance company and you will still be enrolled in your Medicare program. The cost advantage is that you will not need to pay the extra costs of a supplemental plan. Many advantage plans are free for individuals 65 and older who are already enrolled in Medicare Part B or at least offer a more affordable way to pay for all medical costs.
Since many people cannot afford the high cost of supplemental insurance, advantage plans offer an affordable alternative. These programs require a lower monthly premium as long as the beneficiary of the plan agrees to use a set network of healthcare providers and share in some copays for services. Choosing between these different types of plans will depend on how much you can afford on a monthly basis, your personal medical needs, and an understanding of the stipulations set forth by individual insurance plans available in your location.