If you sign up for Medicare Advantage Plans in 2019, you could save big money on medical care. The older you become, the more healthcare tends to cost, and if you want to keep those costs down, then you need the right kind of medical coverage. We’re going to show you what Medicare’s Advantage plans have to offer you so that you can decide for yourself if they are the right choice for you.
What These Plans Do for You
Now, there is no standard Advantage plan. You’ll find that when you look at different advantage plans, that their level of coverage can vary. They all share the same basic coverage, though, so let’s start with that.
The basic coverage for any Advantage plan is to take care of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, along with emergency care and urgently needed care. Part A and Part B cover you for most inpatient and outpatient expenses- things like surgeries, ambulance transport, mental health treatment, lab tests and hospital stay. You may not be covered for the entirety of these expenses and you still have to pay deductibles and copayments, but most of your general medical expenses will be covered.
Most Advantage Plans in 2019 do not stop there, though. They often provide coverage for your prescription drug costs, which is included in Medicare Part D. You can buy this separately, if you wish. You may also be covered for a lot of checkups you may need throughout the year, as well as medical apparatus that goes along with those checkups. In other words, your Advantage plan could cover you for vision tests and the eyeglasses that the doctor prescribes for you. You could be covered for a hearing test and a hearing aid as well. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.
This coverage is not the same from one plan to the next. Each company that sells these plans is allowed to pick and choose what coverage they want to allow on the Advantage plan, so long as they include the same basic coverage.
How to Sign Up for Advantage Coverage
There are not a lot of restrictions to applying and being approved for Advantage coverage. If you are 65 and a legal resident of the United States, then you should be able to pick the Advantage plan of your choice. Even people younger than 65 can apply and be approved in some special circumstances. Your medical conditions will dictate whether you qualify for early approval or not, so be sure to talk to an insurance agent if you feel you may qualify.
You can sign up through private insurance companies. These companies often sell a lot of other medical insurance and they may sell other kinds of insurance as well. They all have their Medicare Advantage plans in 2019 regulated by Medicare, though, so they all have to stick to the same basic coverage. They can add more coverage onto that basic plan, but there are some limits to what can be added.
You’ll want to pick and choose and compare what’s on offer to find the most suitable plan. Not all of them may offer what you are looking for, and you want to be sure you are not getting more coverage than what you need or paying a hefty price tag for something that you can get elsewhere for a better price.
The prices and the coverage do change from time to time, so pay attention to that, if you are researching plans for a while. You’ll want to update your information as it gets closer to the time you plan to sign up for medical insurance, just to ensure that your information is correct.
You can only sign up for Advantage plan during a period known as Open Enrollment. This once-a-year period usually occurs at the end of the year and lasts for a couple of months. It is during his time that you can sign up for other Medicare plans as well. Supplement plans and the Original Medicare plan are both available during Open Enrollment.
You may not be able to sign up for multiple Medicare coverage 2019 plans, if there is any overlap in their coverage. Some of them are meant to work together, such as Medicare’s original plans and Medicare supplements. But Supplements are not compatible with Advantage plans. They simply have some overlapping coverage that makes it impossible for Medicare to allow people to sign up for both at the same time.
If your Advantage plan does not include Part D coverage, though, then you can sign up for that on its own. If it is already included, however, you would not be able to sign up for Part D again, since you’ll be paying for the same coverage twice.
You can choose how long you want to sign up for your Advantage plan. The standard term is for one year, but some people sign up for several years at a time. This allows them lock in their coverage or their rates, but it can prove troublesome when they decide they want different coverage. It can be difficult to change coverage partway through a term, and you are always better off waiting until the term is over before trying to get differ coverage, unless your current coverage is simply too different from what you actually need be of much use to you.
You’ll want to spend some time looking at your options and trying to figure out which Advantage plan is right for you. Decide how much coverage you need and consider how much you are paying now for medical coverage out of your own pockets or with other insurance plans. Compare that to what the Advantage plans offer to determine if you need Advantage coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 may be able to save you money on your healthcare, but only if you choose yours wisely and make sure you get a plan that fits you well.