Advantage plans can make your life a lot easier. If you find that Medicare’s basic plan doesn’t meet your coverage needs, then an Advantage plan could be what you are looking for. Perhaps you don’t need one right away, in that case, you might want to consider one of the 2019 Medicare Advantage Plans.
It really is advisable to plan that far ahead. You need to be able to sort through what’s available, find good rates for the plan and be sure you are choosing something that fits your individual needs. You may have friends tell you that one plan or one kind of network is better than another, but they don’t know what your particular needs are. Only you do, and you have to choose accordingly.
We mentioned networks, and it is important that you understand what those are. Essentially, every insurance company partners with a bunch of different hospitals, clinics doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities. They have gotten these places to agree to accept their insurance coverage. If you have this company’s plan and you walk into one of those healthcare facilities, then you get the full coverage of the plan. Those healthcare facilities are considered to be part of the that insurance company’s network.
Now once you go off network, your coverage can be less effective. There are a couple different types of network plans to pick from, and we’ll discuss the two you will see most often-HMOs and PPOs. Of the 2018 Medicare Advantage Plans, these are going to be the ones that most insurance companies have.
An HMO is very simple. You either get coverage or you don’t, depending on where you go for healthcare. If you go to a facility that is part of the network, you will receive full coverage. Otherwise, you get no coverage whatsoever. That’s simple enough, and there; sonly one exception to his basic rule. If you need emergency healthcare and you have to be taken to the closest possible hospital, and that hospital is not on your plan’s network, then you still get coverage. But that’s the only exception.
For PPOs, you get a little more leniency. Like HMOs, you get full coverage at healthcare facilities that are part of the insurance company’s network. But if you go to someplace not on the network for healthcare, then you still get coverage, but it is not as much. This is partial coverage, and it can be pretty much any percentage less than 100%. Before you sign up for a PPO, make sure you know how much coverage you will get outside the network.
You need to look at the network of any plan you are considering signing up for. Find out if there is a healthcare facility near you that you can go to that is one the insurance company’s network. If not, you may need to find a different insurance company. If you have to get your care somewhere where you aren’t getting full coverage, then the 2019 Medicare Advantage Plans may not be worth your while. So check those networks before you sign up for anything at all.