If you find yourself with a Medicare plan but it feels inadequate, then you may need to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan. This would replace your current Medicare plan, in most cases. It would offer a lot of the same coverage, plus some additional coverage. If that sounds like something you could use either now or in the future, then you may want to look into Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018.
These are plans that can fit you with a lot of extra coverage. You may not have to pay a many expenses out of your own pocket. You may have a lot of those healthcare costs covered by these plans. They aren’t quite the same as a supplemental plan like Medigap, but they do share some similarities.
One of those similarities is that the Advantage plans are offered solely through insurance companies. You won’t find them at Medicare. The organization does not sell them. Instead, it basically “licenses” these plans to private insurance providers. Those providers get to set the plans and determine some availability options.
The price is subject to the whims of the insurance company selling the plan. The price will go up or down based on competition, the area in which the plan is being sold and a few other variables. You can shop around for the best price if you want to save money, and you won’t lose out on coverage because of it.
If you choose to sign up for one of the Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018, then you need to be aware of the different networks these plans are offered on. There are several different network options offered by most insurance companies. The most common or notable ones are PPOs and HMOs. We’ll break them down into simple terms here for you.
The PPO network is one where full coverage is only an option at healthcare facilities that are part of the insurance company’s network- that is, hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices that are on the insurance company’s list of partners. You can still receive some coverage if you go to a healthcare facility outside their network, but it is only a portion of the full coverage, so you need to be careful.
With an HMO network, you can only receive coverage at accepted healthcare facilities. You receive zero coverage anywhere else. Now, you could get full or partial coverage if you have an emergency and you have to be taken to a hospital that is not on your insurance company’s network, but that is the only exception.
These are just some of your options. You have a lot more, and you should take some time to look into them and get to know what is available to you. We suggest planning for 2018 and beyond right now, as you can take this time to ensure you are choosing the best plan at the best price. There are plenty of Medicare subscribers out there who have chosen poorly with their coverage plans, and you don’t want to be among them. Have a look at the Medicare Advantage Plans for 2018 and see if you can find one that will cover you for what you need covered.