understanding your medical insurance policy

Your Guide To Understanding Medicare Advantage

by Peppi Halko

If you qualify for Original Medicare, you may be considering switching to a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage offers a few more perks for a little more money. If you would like to know more about Medicare Advantage, keep reading. 

What Is Included in Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage includes Original Medicare Parts A and B, which includes the bulk of your healthcare needs. Part A covers your medical costs associated with hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home, etc. Part B, however, includes costs associated with preventative care, doctor visits, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and mental health.

Medicare Advantage includes additional coverage, starting with Medicare Part D or prescription medication coverage. They may also offer some coverage for vision care, hearing services, and dental care. Some policies may even include wellness services, but exact coverage varies from policy to policy.

How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost?

Original Medicare is sold directly by the government, but Medicare Advantage is sold by private insurance carriers. However, these carriers have been approved by the government to sell Medicare Advantage plans.

As a result, however, the exact coverage and cost can drastically vary in price. While costs can also change from year to year, in 2023, an average Medicare Advantage plan cost about $18 per month. However, since your plan provides more coverage, you can actually save money by not needing to pay for some services out of pocket, such as dental services.

Are There Drawbacks to Medicare Advantage?

As with any insurance policy, you'll have to make sure the doctor, hospital, etc. is covered under your insurance carrier. Just because a doctor accepts Original Medicare, they may not accept your Medicare Advantage plan if they aren't in the insurance carrier's network.

If you choose Medicare Advantage, you can't purchase a Medigap policy. Medigap policies are used to pay for some of the out-of-pocket expenses associated with Original Medicare, including deductibles. However, many insurance carriers offer Medicare Advantage and Medigap, so you can easily switch between policies if needed. Regardless of which you choose, you'll save money in the long run on your medical costs.

If you have or are considering applying for Medicare, ask about Medicare Advantage first. Medicare Advantage offers more benefits, providing a more robust insurance policy. Some plans even offer transportation, fitness, and other less common benefits.

If you would like to know more, contact a Medicare Advantage plans carrier.