Medicare Advantage Plans 2021
Advantage plans are privately sold Medicare plans that can replace much of the basic Medicare plan. Advantage plans can also cover some extra expenses for you, and we’ll talk about all of their medical benefits and how you can find a good deal on Medicare Advantage plans 2021.
The Benefits That Advantage Plans Give You
Advantage plans are known as high coverage medical insurance plans. That means that they are able to cover lots of expenses for you. There may be some healthcare costs you’ll still have to pay for out of pocket after that Advantage plan is done, but there shouldn’t be many.
You can choose from a few different Advantage plans, and we will start by telling you about the basic one. That would be the one that only covers the essentials. You will be covered for Medicare parts A and B almost completely with this plan. You’ll get medical benefits that take care of the cost of nursing care, at-home medical care, visits to your general practitioner, stays in the hospital, laboratory testing and more. Even some minor medication costs may be covered.
In addition, Advantage plans will always give you coverage for emergency medical care and for urgent medical services. These provide you with lifesaving treatment, Emergency Room services, ambulance transportation and services, and more.
This basic coverage is what you will get with any of the Advantage plans you enroll in. However, you could sign up for higher coverage plans, like Advantage plans that includes all basic coverage, plus prescription drug coverage or checkup benefits.
This allows you to pay less for your mediations or for routine visits to your dentist, audiologist, optometrist or other specialists. These are common expenses that you can have covered completely so that you minimize your healthcare costs.
How much coverage your Advantage plan gives you will partially depend on which insurance company you choose. Some of them offer Advantage plans that cover you for multiple checkups with the same specialist throughout the year, while others will only cover you for a single checkup apiece.
Their prescription drug coverage can change from one provider to the next as well, with some slight differences in which drugs can be covered and how well covered those drugs will be. You will want to be careful to ensure that you are getting appropriate coverage from your plan for drugs that are relevant to you.
Medicare Advantage and Your Insurer’s Network
The network your insurance company uses will be limited based on which healthcare providers have accepted their insurance plans. So, if you buy your Advantage plan from Cigna, but they don’t have any agreements with hospitals or doctor’s offices near your location, then there will be no network coverage available by you. What that means is that you either need to travel kind of far to get covered by your Advantage plan, or you need to pay for some or all of the medical expenses you receive at one of the nearby medical facilities.
Most insurance companies that sell Advantage plans will give you some options for network coverage. They may sell HMO versions of their Advantage plans, which give you coverage only on the network. These are the cheapest available options for most people. They may also sell PPO versions of the Advantage plans that they offer. These will cover you fully on the network too, but then they also cover you outside the network partially.
PPOs cost more, but their more widespread coverage can give them some real value to people who do not live near a network facility. For those in more rural parts of the country, that is a pretty common scenario. So, instead of just paying for all of your healthcare yourself, you can get your Advantage plan to pay for some of it by using a PPO plan.
If you need help figuring out which plan to go with or you just have some questions about Medicare Advantage plans 2021, then you can give us a call. We are happy to help you out and assist you in making the best possible decision.
You may have other options besides the PPOs and HMOs. Some insurers will offer Special Needs plans, and in order to qualify for those, you have to be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
You may also be able to pick HMO-POS plans. These will cover you on the network completely and then give you a discounted rate for any services received outside of the network. The cost for these will be somewhere between what you would pay for an HMO plan and a PPO plan. You can check rates for these and other types of healthcare plans here on our website. You will see a list of quotes for your area when you search here, and this can help you find the best prices on Medicare Advantage plans.
Enrolling in Medicare Advantage
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage if you are 65 or older. You also need to be a US citizen, or you need to be a US Green Card holder. If you are not sure about your eligibility, then please feel free to give us a call. We are happy to explain any details to you.
Your first chance to apply for an Advantage plan will be during Open Enrollment. This will start around your 65th birthday. You can enroll anytime up to three months before your birthday month or three months after the birthday month. You get low rates at this time and no insurer can deny your application.
You can apply at others times as well, but you might end up paying a higher rate for your coverage. General Enrollment starts in January and ends in March. If you sign up at this time, then you will get coverage that begins for you on July 1st. You can only enroll at this time if you did not enroll in any Medicare plan when you were first eligible for it at age 65.
Another chance to enroll would be the Fall Open Enrollment period. This starts on October 15th, and you will be allowed to have until December 7th to enroll. If you are accepted, then your coverage starts on January 1st the following year. You can enroll at this time whether you enrolled in Medicare before or not. You can also use this time to change out your Medicare Advantage plan or some other kind of Medicare plan.
Special enrollment periods may be available to you as well that give you more flexibility as to when you can enroll. These will help you out if you were covered by another kind of health insurance plan when you turned 65 or in other situations where signing up for Medicare wasn’t a viable option for you.
To learn more about enrollment, to find out when you can sign up or to ask any other questions related to Medicare Advantage plans 2021, give us a call. You can also find out a lot about these plans and how affordable they are by using our site and searching for quotes. It’s free to do, and you can find low-cost plans with a lot of value that may be able to cover you perfectly.