Medicare Advantage Comparison 2014 – How To Avoid Costly Mistakes
Whether you are new to Medicare and shopping for the best advantage plan, or you are you doing your annual plan comparison – it is of great benefit to assess your health care and prescription drug needs and compare them to available choices if you want to get the most out of your Medicare.
Take a look at all of the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area – there is a good chance that you will find a Medicare advantage plan:
- With a lower premium
- That better fits your current health care needs or better covers your drugs
- That lets you see the doctor or the hospital you prefer.
Medicare is giving all plans a 1 to 5-star rating, and you are allowed to switch to a 5 star advantage plan at any time during the year. If you find a plan that has a 5-star rating, you can switch into that plan at any time, even outside the Medicare enrollment periods. And, of course, you can still enroll in any Medicare advantage plan during Open Enrollment from October 15 through December 7 each year.
How To Compare Medicare Advantage Plans 2014
If you are already enrolled in Medicare advantage, make sure to carefully read your current policy and the annual notice of change letter, if you received one. If you have any questions or are unclear about any aspect of your plan, ask your insurance broker, or your talk to your insurance provider directly.
Shopping for the most cost-effective Medicare advantage plan with the best coverage for your health insurance needs can be daunting. Depending on where you live, you will have a lot of choices – but not all options may be suitable for you.
Compare each plans’ benefits to what you really need. All Medicare advantage plans provide all of your Part A and Part B Medicare coverage, including emergency and urgent care coverage. They will not cover hospice care because it is always provided by Medicare. Most advantage plans include prescription drug coverage that is comparable to Medicare Part D.
Make sure to compare important details of each plan, such as benefits, network of health care providers, prescription drug coverage (if any), premiums, deductibles, co-payments as well as any other limitations or regulations a plan may have. Since Medicare advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies, you will find different rules. The most important consideration is: will the Medicare advantage plan cover your doctor visits and the prescription drugs you are taking?
Typically, Medicare advantage plans have their own network of doctors and hospitals that you are required to use, and they will not cover any treatment you obtained from outside of their network. The insurer may also require you to get a referral from your primary doctor before you can see a specialist. Not every RX drug may be covered. Also make sure to check the out-of-pocket maximum and whether it fits within your financial budget. In case you should get really ill, with some of these low cost plans you may be responsible for a huge amount of money for your share of the costs.
After a thorough comparison of different plans, you will be able to select the plan that best meets your personal medical needs and that you can afford not only on a monthly basis, but also in case of a serious health issue.
If comparing different Medicare advantage plans, coverage options and premiums sounds like too much of a challenge to you, you may want to get assistance from a trustworthy licensed insurance broker. Independent insurance brokers work with different insurance companies and can help you compare policies and premiums from different companies.
You may also get help by visiting MyMedicare.gov, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
More about Advantage Plans:
- 4 Things You Need To Know About Medicare Advantage Plans
- How To Find A 5 Star Rated Medicare Advantage Plan 2014
- How To Select The Best Medicare Advantage Plan 2014?
By: Joseph Rosario