If you are shopping around for Cheap Medicare Advantage this year, you may wonder what the best plan is. This will depend on your situation, medical needs, how much you can afford, and other factors.
Tools are available to help you find Cheap Medicare Advantage in your area that can meet all your healthcare needs. This article will explore how to determine the best Medicare Advantage plan for your situation and tips for enrolling in Medicare.
When beginning your search for a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, it’s important to know the differences between each type of plan. You will probably see some or all of the following types of programs when reviewing your options:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. These plans are primarily focused on in-network healthcare services.
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. These plans charge different rates depending on whether the services are in or out of the network. (A network is a group of providers contracting to provide services for a specific insurance company and plan.) These may offer more options for receiving out-of-network care.
- Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. These plans let you receive care from any Medicare-approved provider who will accept the approved fee from your project.
- Special Needs Plans (SNPs). These plans offer additional help for medical costs associated with specific chronic health conditions.
- Medicare Savings Account (MSA) plans. These plans combine a health plan that has a high deductible with a medical savings account.
Each plan offers options to accommodate your healthcare needs. SNPs are designed to help alleviate some long-term costs if you have chronic health conditions. On the other hand, a PFFS or MSA plan might be beneficial if you travel and need to see out-of-network providers.
Factors to consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan
With all the changes to the Medicare Advantage on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your best plan. Here are a few things to look for in a Medicare Advantage plan:
- costs that fit your budget and needs
- a list of in-network providers that include 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
Consider your coverage priorities
All Medicare Advantage plans cover what original Medicare insurance covers. This includes hospital coverage (Part A) and medical coverage (Part B).
When choosing a cheap Medicare Advantage, you first want to consider what coverage you need in addition to the range above. Most Medicare Advantage plans offer one, if not all, of these additional types of coverage:
- prescription drug coverage
- dental coverage, including yearly exams and procedures
- vision coverage, including annual exams and vision devices
- hearing coverage, including audiologist exams and hearing devices
- fitness memberships
- medical transportation
- additional healthcare perks
Finding the best Medicare Advantage plan means making a checklist of the services you want to receive coverage for. You can then take your coverage checklist to Medicare, find a planning tool, and compare plans that cover your needs.
If you find a good plan, don’t hesitate to call the company to ask if they offer any additional coverage or perks.
Medicare Advantage plan?
You can wait to apply for Medicare until the month of your 65th birthday or the 3 months following your birthday. However, coverage can be delayed if you wait, so try to apply early. If you decide not to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan when you first turn age 65, you have another chance during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period.
From October 15 through December 7 each year, you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or add, remove, or change a Part D plan.
- Most people fill Medicare’s coverage gaps by buying this supplement (Medigap) plan, and a Part D prescription-drug plan, or they get both medical and drug coverage from a private insurer with a plan.
- From October 15 to December 7 each year, you can pick a Medicare Part D prescription-drug plan or a Cheap Medicare Advantage plan for the year ahead.
- You can switch from one Part D plan to another or one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can also change into a Medicare Advantage plan. However, suppose you have Cheap Medicare Advantages and want to switch to a Medigap plan plus a Part D plan. Depending on your health, you may have limited Medigap options, although you can choose any Part D plan during open enrollment. (For more information about choosing between Medicare Advantage or Medigap and Part D, see How to Fill Medicare Coverage Gaps).
- The plan that was best for you over the past year may not be the best next year.
- That may be because the drugs you take or the doctors you see have changed. Or it may be because the coverage has changed under your plan for next year, your prescriptions may be moving to a more expensive pricing tier with higher co-payments, or your doctors may be leaving your Medicare Advantage plan’s network.
- Or new plans may be introduced in your area that better match you.
- Mutual of Omaha is entering the Part D market in several states; for example, more insurers are introducing prescription or Medicare Advantage plans with lower premiums.
- Because you can change plans every year, you can focus specifically on your drugs and dosages or the type of health care you need now; you can switch again next year if your needs or options change.
Most people fill Medicare’s coverage gaps by buying a Cheap Medicare Advantages supplement (Medigap) plan and a Part D prescription-drug plan, or they get both medical and drug coverage from a private insurer with a Medicare Advantage.