Medicare Advantage plans have gained popularity since first being introduced by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Here are nine reasons why.
1. Low or $0 Monthly Premium Payments
Medicare Advantages plans often have low-cost or even $0 premiums. Costs will vary by plan, so it’s important to shop around. You will continue to pay the Part B premium to Medicare.
2. Financial Protection
Medicare Advantage plans provide a financial safety net due to a set annual out-of-pocket limit. If your costs reach the limit, then your plan covers 100 percent of your Medicare-covered health care costs for the rest of the year.
Medicare sets a maximum out-of-pocket limit each year, and plans can set their limits at this amount or lower. There is no out-of-pocket protection with Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
3. Dental, Vision, Fitness and Hearing Coverage
Original Medicare doesn't provide coverage for dental, vision, hearing care or fitness. For a simple solution and added health and wellness, most Medicare Advantage plans cover these items as part of their benefit packages.
4. Extra Benefits to Support Your Health and Well-Being
Plans are always expanding the benefits they offer that Original Medicare does not. You may find plans that provide total health and wellness packages, in-home medical visits, transportation to medical appointments, coordinated care, virtual tele-health doctor visits and more.
5. Built-in Prescription Drug Coverage
You don’t need a separate Part D plan with most Medicare Advantage plans because drug coverage is a built-in benefit.
6. The Simplicity of One Plan
With Medicare Advantage, you have one complete plan to cover your health care needs – doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital care and more. One plan, one premium and one point of contact for your Medicare questions.
7. Easy Referrals to Providers and Specialists
Oversight by your primary care provider and access to an extensive network allow you to quickly see providers and specialists for the care you need. Your primary care provider can easily refer you to the services you need.
8. Emergency Care Nationwide
You can rest assured that you will get the care you need should you have a health emergency – no matter what state you’re in. All Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide coverage for urgent and emergency medical care throughout the United States.
9. Comprehensive Care Coordination
Most Medicare Advantage plans are coordinated care plans. That means that all your care is brought together under one umbrella so that it can be seen as a whole. The goal is to improve your health outcomes, avoid overlapping tests and procedures and promote clear communication.
Medicare Advantage may be a great choice for you if you are wanting more than the basics that Original Medicare provides. But most importantly, you need to pick a plan that fits your personal needs. You can do this by using this zip code search tool to find and compare Medicare Advantage plans and benefits in your area.