Many people don't realize that a Medicare Advantage plan is not Original Medicare--by choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, you are opting out of Original Medicare and purchasing a private plan. The main draw for a Medicare Advantage plan is that it may save you some money in the short term because they typically offer lower monthly premiums than a Medicare Supplement plan, but they tend to cost more in the long run due to many more out-of-pocket costs. Our licensed representatives can help you determine what those costs might be and which plans are most appropriate for you.
A Medicare Advantage plan has networks, which means you may only see doctors that are covered under their plan, and you may have to find new doctors and hospitals when you sign up. Medicare Advantage plans also typically carry copays and deductibles that must be paid for out-of-pocket. Medicare Advantage plans often offer drug coverage but may not cover the particular medications that you take. The costs for a Medicare Advantage plan can go up as high as $6,700 maximum out-of-pocket but could be higher if you get treatment or services outside of your network. It's important to call to determine what type of drug coverage will suit you best.
It's important to know if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan and become sick, you may not easily switch to a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan. At this point, you will have forfeited your Initial Election Period and must now go through the medical underwriting process. During medical underwriting, your age, health history and pre-existing conditions will be taken into consideration for your eligibility. Your illness or injury will now be considered a pre-existing condition, and your new carrier may deny coverage.
Under a Medicare Advantage plan, your copays, in-network doctors, and drug coverage can change from year to year, so it's important to review the terms of your plan often. Medicare Advantage plans are typically catered to those with lower income, even though they can have higher costs in the long run.