MEDICARE ADVANTAGE Q & A
HOW DO I CHOOSE A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN
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Factors to consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan
costs that fit your budget and needs.
a list of in-network providers that includes any doctor(s) that you would like to keep.
coverage for services and medications that you know you'll need.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) star rating.
What kind of questions should I ask about Medicare?
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What are the basics? ... Elkin Insurance offers a complimentary Welcome to Medicare Education One On One meeting in the Home, in the Office on the phone or over the Internet.
What are your coverage options? ... During our meeting we will not only educate you about the value of Medicare but also the rules and penalties. Then we will discuss your needs and the needs of the family to make sure you have the coverage that fits your needs best.
Should you enroll in Part D? ... We will discuss why it is important of a part D plan, how much they cost and what the penalty for not obtaining one when becoming eligible for Medicare.
Are you eligible for programs that help lower Medicare costs? ... Other factors go into making a decision about how to pay for your healthcare as you age. Elkin Insurance will also discuss if there are other avenues that could protect you and offer you additional benefits.
Historically, most Medicare beneficiaries have chosen to receive their benefits through traditional Medicare, but enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown rapidly over the past decade. Forty-five percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2022, a share that is projected to rise to more than 50 percent by 2025.
How to choose the best Medicare Advantage plan
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Choosing your best Medicare Advantage plan will depend on the cost, amount of coverage and provider network of the policy. These factors will vary greatly when comparing insurers but will also differ between the plans that each provider offers. That's why it's important to understand these categories and how they will change your Medicare health insurance.
1. Compare monthly costs
Usually, there's a trade-off between how much you pay for a plan (called the monthly premium) and how much you could pay for medical services (deductible, copays, coinsurance and the out-of-pocket maximum). For example, if you select a plan with a higher monthly premium, then the deductible and the amount you need to pay out of pocket are usually lower.
2. Assess how much health care you expect to need
To minimize your costs, you should match your medical needs to the plan's benefits. For example, those who need expensive health services such as surgery should focus on a plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum, which will provide a good cap on annual medical expenses. However, those who have typical or moderate medical needs should look more closely at the plan's deductible and the coinsurance or copayment, which is the cost-sharing rate you'll pay for health services.
3. Consider any additional benefits that are included
Some Medicare Advantage policies include added benefits, such as fitness programs, dental care, vision care or online concierge services. You should take these into account before deciding what is the best Medicare Advantage plan for you.
4. Look at provider networks
A Medicare Advantage plan will have a list of preferred doctors and medical providers. An HMO plan will only cover your medical care if you go to one of these in-network providers, and with a PPO plan, you'll pay less if you stay in-network for medical care. For this reason, it is important to carefully review the network of each plan you are considering. For example, if you have a preferred primary care physician who you have used throughout your life, we would recommend confirming with that doctor that they are within the network for the policy you are choosing to purchase.
Frequently asked questions
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What is the best Medicare Advantage plan?
For 2023, Humana has the best Medicare Advantage plans for most people because of its combination of good ratings, low costs and good benefits. We also recommend AARP/UnitedHealthcare for its popular plans that are nearly as well-rated. Kaiser Permanente has the highest customer satisfaction but has limited availability and can be expensive.
Which Medicare Advantage plan has the best dental coverage?
Medicare Advantage plans from AARP/UnitedHealthcare have some of the best dental benefits. You'll get coverage for a wide network of dentists. Plus, routine or preventive services are free if you stay in-network. However, comprehensive dental coverage varies for the $0 plans. Some plans may cap their dental benefits, only paying $500 - 2,000 per policy year. Others don't have a cap but instead have lower cost-sharing benefits, meaning you'll spend more for each dental service.
What’s the best way to compare Medicare Advantage plans?
When comparing Medicare Advantage plans, there are two main things to consider: cost and coverage. For cost, consider the total amount that you'll pay for health care and insurance. In some cases, you'll get a better deal by paying more for a policy that has better benefits, helping you to save on health care. For coverage, make sure a plan gives you strong benefits in the areas you expect to need the most, such as diabetes care, prescription drugs or inpatient surgery.
To learn more about this and other Health related topics, talk with a professional in your community. Make an appointment to speak with one of our professionals and see for yourself the Elkin Insurance difference. At Elkin Insurance "We Care About You".