What makes Medicare Advantage plans different from other types of medical coverage plans? This is a question that a lot of seniors have, and we are going to examine the Medicare Advantage 2018 plans to show you exactly what kind of coverage you could be getting and why it might be a decent choice for a lot of people.
How Advantage Plans Are Going to Cover You
Advantage plans aren’t your typical Medicare plan. They are robust in their coverage and they offer nearly complete coverage, in some instances. Their coverage will vary, so keep that in mind and pay close attention to what the Advantage plan you are considering must offer. It’s possible that it may not provide you with as much coverage as some other choices that are available to you.
You do have a lot of selection as far as Advantage plans go. There isn’t a standard plan or one set of coverage that they all must adhere to. The different companies that sell Advantage plans have some leeway as to what they can offer. Of course, they will price their plan according to coverage offered, but the coverage can vary from one Advantage plan to the next.
Each company will only usually have one basic Advantage plan, but the way their network coverage is set up may come in few different varieties. As far as the network is concerned and the way you receive coverage, you do have a few different options for Advantage plans at each provider.
The basic Advantage plan must cover you for a few different things. These plans are meant to replace the Medicare Original plan, so they offer coverage for everything that basic Medicare plan does, more or less. They also cover some of the supplemental expenses that would normally be covered by Medicare supplement plans, or Medigap plans. That can mean coverage for your deductibles, co-payments, excess charges and more. In addition, many Advantage plans also cover you for Medicare Part D, which is coverage for your prescription medications. Pay close attention to what the Advantage plan you are looking at does cover, though, since they can often be different from one another. The biggest way that most of them will differ is in their Part D coverage. They will either offer that coverage or not.
Do You Need an Advantage Plan?
Advantage plans are not made for everyone, and many people would be better off with something that has a lot less coverage. These plans can be excessive in their coverage for a great many people, and you need to consider if it is right for you. They will cost more than your average Medicare plan or Medigap plan, so you want to be sure that you need all the coverage you are being offered.
There are two things you need to do then to figure that out. First, look at the plan and what it covers. Remember that you have other options for Advantage plans if you don’t like what that Medicare Advantage 2018 plan is giving you.
Secondly, compare that coverage against what you need. You may not know what kind of coverage you need exactly, but you can talk to your doctor about your medical status and to your agent about coverage options to figure that out. You can also look at your finances and determine how much you are paying for medical care and if it would be cheaper to have those expense covered by an Advantage plan.
Keep in mind that many Advantage plans will offer coverage you may not need. If the one you are reconsidering comes with a lot of coverage that is excessive for you, then you need to either look at more Advantage plans and find something with lower coverage or consider a different type of coverage plan altogether.
There are tons of medical coverage options out there, and you don’t want to limit yourself to just one kind of plan.
The Medicare Advantage 2018 Network
Before we wrap this up, we need to discuss networks and how they relate to Medicare Advantage 2018 plans. Unlike other types of Medicare insurance, there are some network option for you to choose from when it comes to Advantage plans. You may have heard the terms HMO and PPO before, and these refer to the way that a particular plan will cover you.
Let’s identify what a network is first, though. The network is the name for all the different medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices, that are partnered with your insurance company. They exist on its network because they have all agreed to accept its coverage.
A medical facility that isn’t on the network won’t be giving you full coverage, no matter what type of network plan you go with. Let’s examine the two most prominent network options now.
The HMO plan gives you full coverage when you go for treatment at any medical facility on the insurance company’s network. If you go off the network for care, then you receive no coverage whatsoever. That’s simple, right? This is the most common type of network plan, and it is also usually the cheapest.
The PPO plan is a bit different. You still get full coverage when you go to a facility that is on your insurance company’s network, but you can get partial coverage when you go anywhere else that is not on the network. That’s a little more lenient and gives you some more options, and with those extra options comes a higher price tag. It will cost you more for a PPO plan, but it may be the best option in some cases- for instance, if you have no on-network facilities in your area.
So those are your options with Medicare Advantage 2018 plans, and you may have even more options depending on which insurance company you go with, but we wanted to cover the most common ones for you.