Medicare vs Medicare Advantage
August 23, 2015 at 6:46 am #142045TWLParticipant
I turn 65 in just under a year and am educating myself on Medicare choices. Pretty clear on Medicare (and supplement insurance and part D options) but am less clear on Medicare Advantage. What are the “advantages” of Medicare Advantage? Disadvantages? Why would I choose it over original Medicare (plus supplemental)?November 1, 2015 at 10:37 pm #149524connie189Participant
My husband signed up for an Advantage plan first with AARP and then another year with Blue Cross.
The Advantage plan can takes the place of the Medicare card that you receive from the government.
If you don’t have too many major health problems, you can pay a $0 monthly premium for the Advantage plan.
Other plan premiums can go up to $200 +/0-.
There are insurance sites that show the different Advantage plans and benefits and costs for comparison.
You might also want to try having an insurance broker signing you up for the basic Medicare that you have to pay for (for most folks through SS deductions). If you don’t answer their applications correctly, you might not get signed up into Medicare.
Make sure your doctors are in the plan you choose.November 8, 2015 at 9:51 am #150281troy1961Participant
One thing about the above post that is incorrect. The advantage plans are an alternate to medicare or medicare plus. For medicaid you must qualify with low income. The supplemental plans offer more coverage and cost more to get it. The medicare advantage cost less and of course you get the amount of coverage and the plan you choose. These plans are getting fewer and fewer every year. Cost of health care has been skyrocketing. They removed all the restrictions on the health care industries and the pharmaceuticals. The (JEB BUSH) corporations have been taking full advantage squeezing the working class out of every dime they can get. No one has been a winner accept the elite who have been collecting the profits.November 8, 2015 at 10:07 am #150283TWLParticipant
It seems that geography may play a role in choosing between traditional Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan. For example, I’ve read that “you may have to choose specific doctors or hospitals” and that these plans have “service areas.” Since I split my time between two different states, and in neither do I live in an urban/suburban area, it seems like I’d have to be very careful about the advantage plan I choose to be sure I have coverage (I do understand that advantage plans must offer nationwide emergency and urgent care). Some are HMO or POS type plans.
Also I travel out of the U.S. approximately every 12-15 months. If I go the traditional Medicare route, I know I must pick a supplemental that covers foreign travel. I assume the advantage plans offer those variables as well.November 22, 2015 at 11:28 am #151908rdavisptlParticipant
TWL you are correct. If you sign up with a Medicare Advantage plan, you are tied to that plans provider network if you want the lowest co-pays. That network is usually geographically limited to a specific region. My wife and I have traditional medicare with a gap plan because we spend our time between CA and LA. It allows us to use any doctor from both areas who take Medicare patients. Also, keep in mind that most Medicare Advantage plans are now HMO plans. POS plans are being phased out.
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