What are Medicare Advantage Plans and how to purchase them?
Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, allows eligible individuals with Medicare Parts A and B (medicare health insurance) to get their Medicare benefits through an alternative method. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by various private insurance companies that are contracted by Medicare and offer at least as much coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B. There are several Medicare Advantage Plans currently available.
Medicare Supplement Plans 2022 start after the first year of eligibility. They cover outpatient hospital stays and most common doctor visits, inpatient and maternity benefits, in some cases even vision insurance, and specialized health care coverage.
Medicare Advantage Plans do not pay for prescription drugs. For individuals who are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, they can choose a Medicare Part A plan or Part C plan. In order to participate in one of these programs, you must be age 65 or older and have been receiving Medicare for six months or more.
Medicare Advantage Plans can be purchased privately from Medicare providers, or through third party payors such as Medicare Part A beneficiaries, Medicare Part B insurers, and state Medicaid agencies. They are often required to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, and agree to Medicare Part A coverage when enrolling. All Medicare Advantage Plans pay after the first year of benefits, and are subject to Medicare Part A rates.
In general, the higher the premium, the lower the Medicare Advantage Plan premiums will be. However, there are several factors that may affect the Medicare Advantage Plans premium, including: type of plan, whether the plan is approved by Medicare Parts A or B, date of eligibility, and if the provider is approved by Medicare Advantage Plans.
In addition, there are certain characteristics of the plans that may qualify for bonus payments. These include: plan beneficiaries who are permanently disabled; long-term benefits who are not subject to a waiting period; and certain geographic locations who have high claims rates. Bonus payments are subject to adjustments each year.
There are a number of features of Medicare Advantage Plans that are not available with original Medicare Parts A and B. Some examples include: no restrictions on which hospital stays are covered; no deductibles for outpatient care; and no restrictions on the types of covered services. Additionally, many people believe that the premiums of Medicare Advantage Plans are not fully voluntary. If you are currently covered by Medicare Parts A or B, you may be curious about the differences between your coverage and the terms of the Medicare Advantage Plans.
The primary difference between Medicare Advantage Plans and original Medicare is that you would receive a Medicare Advantage Plan premium that is calculated based on your present income. Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, there are no restrictions on the types of covered services, the types of hospitals that you can receive medical care in, or the types of coverage.
Plus, if you choose to remain with your original Medicare coverage, you would also continue to receive Medicare benefits. Many people also want the choice to choose a dentist, eye doctor, and chiropractor within the network. You will also want to be able to order laboratory tests, hearing aids, and more.