Not every Medicare Advantage Plan is the same. They may look similar from a distance but once you get down to the details, you will see differences that can make a huge impact over time. That’s why it is so vital that you compare Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018 and ensure you have the one that best fits your situation.
What Advantage Plans Are
Before you compare, you should know what these plans offer and how they differ from other similar medical coverage plans. They look a lot like Medigap plans, which are also known as supplemental insurance plans, but they aren’t the same. In fact, if you have a Medigap plan and you want to sign up for an Advantage plan, you will likely have to drop your Medigap plan to qualify. You can’t have both plans at the same time because their coverage overlaps in so many ways.
So, if you know what a Medicare supplement plan is (Medigap), then you have a good idea of what a Medicare Advantage plan is and what it does. They cover many of the same medical expenses, but are not identical. If they were, you could just go with whichever was cheaper.
The biggest difference between Medigap plans and Advantage plans is that many insurance companies will sell lots of different Medigap plans but only one Advantage plan. The Advantage plans tend to offer a lot of coverage, like a high-coverage Medigap plan. They take car eof paying for a lot of the most common medical expenses, but also a few of the less common ones as well. Which ones are covered will depend on which insurance company you choose. They all offer something a bit different. On top of that, they all sell their Advantage plans for different prices as well.
One thing most Advantage plans have in common is that they cover the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. This takes care of much of the cost of prescription drugs, though it won’t cover everything. If you have an Advantage plan, then you don’t need the Part D coverage, in most cases, since it will already be included. So, if you are currently signed up for Part D, you will likely have to drop that before you sign up for an Advantage plan. It’s a rule among medical coverage plans that you cannot be signed up for two plans which have some overlapping coverage. That means you may need to give up some of your coverage to get other coverage, and you need to carefully consider what kind of coverage you need before you make a switch.
Comparing the Plans
Now that you have a better understanding of what Advantage plans are, let’s look at what the different insurance companies are offering. They all sell their own versions of Advantage plans. These have some similarities between them, but there are important differences that we cannot get into here because of space restrictions. You would have to look at each plan individually that you are considering and compare Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018. You should know that the differences tend to be quite minor between the various advantage plans offered by insurance companies.
The big difference is that some will offer Part D coverage and others won’t. If you found an Advantage plan that doesn’t offer Part D coverage, but you like its price tag, then you can always sign up for that plan and then sign up for Part D as well, and you’ll have both plans covering you. That could be cheaper than buying a more expensive Advantage plan that includes Part D coverage.
The other difference you need to watch out for is in the pricing. There is not a standard or set price for Medicare Advantage plans. Some are sure to be quite expensive, while others will be cheap. The price may not have much to do with the content, either, so make sure you are paying attention to what you are getting with each Advantage plan rather than just how much they cost.
You should be looking for a plan that you can afford as you compare them. You also want to look the coverage they offer and ensure that you are being covered for medical expenses that relate to you and your specific medical needs. There is no point in paying for coverage you can’t really use. You can always talk to your doctor or your insurance agent about the kinds of things you should be trying to cover. With any Advantage plan, you are likely to end up with some coverage you don’t really need, but it might not hurt to have it if it doesn’t raise the price much. You never know when you may need some additional coverage, so you can’t exactly plan what medical needs you are going to have over the next year or so.
As you compare the plans, be sure to look at your coverage needs. Advantage plans aren’t designed for everyone, as they provide significant medical coverage. A plan that works very well for one of our friends may be a poor plan for you, and comparing the plans against your specific needs is the best way to determine the right plan for you. In general, you only need an Advantage plan if you have a lot of coverage needs.
So, if you find that your current coverage plan isn’t doing enough for you and you need some extra coverage, the 2018 Medicare Advantage plans may be a good idea for you. You should at least consider them and see if there is anything worthwhile for you. You may find out that you don’t even need an Advantage plan if you take the time to look, but at least you will know if you have the best coverage possible. If you do decide to choose one of these, make certain that you compare Medicare Advantage plans for 2018 to get the best price and the best coverage.