This is likely why so many original Medicare recipients have chosen to boost their coverage and protection by adding a Medicare supplement plan. After all, having a limit on your out of pocket expenses is an easy way to provide peace of mind when it comes to your healthcare.
What so many people don’t realize, however, is that most people with Medicare supplement plans can actually save on monthly costs by making the switch to a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan. Not only that, but in fact, many of these Medicare Advantage plans have no monthly cost at all.
Making the Switch: The Benefits of Switching to Medicare Advantage
When it comes to healthcare, it isn’t just about the money. Here are some of the reasons that MA plans have become so popular in recent years:
A Single Insurance Company
MA plans are capable of providing all of your insurance needs through one single insurance company. Instead of having to deal with the hassle of multiple private insurers, enrollees can enjoy an easy, streamlined way to handle their healthcare.
Additional Benefits & Coverage
A significant number of MA plans go a bit further than original Medicare when it comes to things like dental, vision, and hearing care. There are also non-medical benefits in some cases that can cover things like nutrition and transportation.
Low Monthly Costs
The single most attractive thing about MA plans is their relatively low costs. With many MA plans charging zero premiums, they are often times one of the most immediate ways to start saving money on health insurance.
Limited Networks and More Exposure: The Downsides of Medicare Advantage Plans
If you are thinking of making the switch to an MA plan this Open Enrollment, then it is important that you understand some of the limitations. Chief among these is the fact that MA plans require that the patient use a doctor that is within network. This makes it important that all MA enrollees make sure to confirm their doctor’s in-network status before using the plan.
Original Medicare leaves you exposed to infinitely high medical bills, with no limit on your maximum out-of-pocket expenses. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan there is a maximum limit to your out-of-pocket costs, or no more than $6700 in-network, or $10,000 out-of-network. However, this is still likely a lot more than your maximum out-of-pocket with a Medicare supplement plan, which may only be a few hundred dollars.
Open Enrollment 2019: The Only Time to Make the Switch to MA
There is only one time per year that you can normally sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, and that is during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) that runs from October 15th to December 7th. That means that you have a fairly tight window to review your options and make a decision.
If you are interested in requesting a quote on a Medicare Advantage plan in your area, go to www.MediGapAdvisors.com/instant-quote-med-adv-ma.php.
Or, as usual, you can contact your Personal Benefits Manager to discuss whether or not it is a good time to make any changes to your benefits plan. After all, when it comes to health coverage, things can usually get cheaper, or easier. How often do you get a shot at both?
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.