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These plans add to Medicare basic’s coverage, much like a Medigap plan would. They may also provide some overlap between plans. For example, your drugs may be covered by both plans, if that is the case, then that coverage will fall usually to the Advantage plan and Medicare basic will no longer offer drug coverage (Part D).
Like Medigap plans, these Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies. They don’t get to change up the coverage on you at all, but they can set what prices they like for the plans. On top of that, they can make their own rules regarding how you get coverage. For example, they may require that you see a specialist for a referral before you can be covered for specific medical expenses.
These rules are something that are not set in stone. Different insurance companies will have different sets of rules for their coverage they offer, though they have to keep the actual coverage the same. They can also change up the rules however they like, so just because you see one company has their rules set up in a certain way when you first examine their plans, that doesn’t mean that they will keep those same rules for years to come. You should keep checking back with companies about policy changes up to the time you buy the plan.
With 2017 Medicare Advantage plans, you can save a lot of money, but you do need to ensure that you actually need the coverage. As with any supplemental plan, those with only minor medical expenses may not benefit. Consider how much your medical costs will be compared to how much the cost of the Advantage plan is. If you can accurately tally both costs, you can compare them to see which one is the cheaper route. For those with a lot of medical needs and major medical bills, buying an Advantage plan is probably the best option.
When you are considering buying an Advantage plan, be sure that you are looking at all of the choices you have available. You can get the same plans from a number of different providers, but their prices may all be different. Be sure you are choosing the plan that suits you best and covers you adequately while paying as little as possible for it.
Because Medicare controls the coverage offered in these plans, you won’t have to worry about missing out on some coverage just because you picked a low-cost insurance provider. Keep that in mind as you search for a provider to buy from. Always go for the lowest cost insurance company with the best terms. It’s not too early to start looking at Medicare Advantage plans for 2017. By starting your search right now, you can have the plan of your choice picked out and you can be sure you aren’t paying more than is absolutely necessary for it.
Medicare Advantage Plans 2017
Offering substantial coverage for medical expenses, Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017 will be sold by private health insurance companies. It provides benefits that are similar to the basic Medicare plan, as well as some that differ from that basic plan.
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What Is Medicare Advantage Plans?
Part C of Medicare is often called Medicare Advantage. This name is used by both private insurance companies selling the plan and Medicare itself, so consumers need to be aware that the two terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing. They also need to know that Medicare Advantage Plans is not a plan that can be shared with other Medicare plans. You cannot be signed up for this plan as well as for Medicare Part A or B.
This is due to the overlap that exists between the plans. The Advantage plan would cover a lot of the same medical costs as the basic plan, so having both would be kind of pointless. Medicare prohibits its subscribers from having both plans at once for this very reason. It simply doesn’t want people paying for the same coverage twice.
Now they don’t offer exactly the same coverage. You won’t get all the same medical expenses taken care of with Medicare Part A and B as you would with Part C. It is called an Advantage plan because it offers a bit more. For comparison, an Advantage plan offers coverage for a lot of the same medical expenses as would be covered by a Medigap plan, which is also known as a Medicare supplement plan.
These are often expenses that are not as common as what the basic Medicare plan would cover. Your situation will determine just how common they are for you, but on the whole, they are not as common for most people.
Who Needs Part C?
That brings us to what kind of situation would make Medicare Advantage Plans a necessary coverage plan for an individual. It’s not something that just anyone will benefit from. It is a premium plan, and it comes at a premium price. You will pay more for this plan than you would for the basic plan, and that’s because it offers more.
In order to determine how relevant Part C is to your medical needs, you first have to understand who the basic plan is catering to. Medicare’s original plan comes with two parts- Medicare Part A and Part B. These cover basic expenses. Part A takes care of your basic hospital expenses- hospice care, nursing care, etc. Part B takes care of basic doctor’ expenses, such as x-rays, tests, etc. They won’t cover all common expenses or all parts of the expenses they provide coverage for, but together they lay a basic coverage groundwork that is going to be beneficial to most people who need intermediate medical care.
Now if you need hospital or doctor services on a regular basis, like every week, then you may need something more extensive than Medicare. But it will depend on your situation. You may find that you have no medical expenses that any other plans cover substantially. In that case, Medicare’s original plan is still your best. But for most people who need constant care or who have serious medical problems, a more robust plan is necessary.
Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017 should at least be taken into consideration by anyone fitting this description of their medical needs. It won’t cover all medical expenses either, and in many cases, it only covers portions of medical expenses, but that can be enough to make it worthwhile. Every individual should look at their medical needs for themselves and make the decision for their personal needs. They can’t look at how other people chose plans and base their decision off of that. Everyone has unique needs, and all those medical needs have to be examined to be able to make an informed decision.
How to Get Medicare Advantage Plans
Now it was mentioned earlier in this article, but it needs to be repeated for those who are unaware- Medicare Advantage Plans is available through private insurance companies. It’s not something that Medicare offers. What Medicare does (and why it still bears the Medicare name) is regulate these plans. It determines how much coverage a Advantage plan must have. Every Medicare Advantage Plans plan that is purchased from an insurance company offers the same basic insurance. This is the same insurance that the original Medicare plan (parts A and B) offers, but with some additional coverage as well.
Now this coverage can vary a bit depending on which Advantage plan is purchased. Advantage plans are differentiated by the network they operate on. These networks are called HMOs, PPOs and other names, and each one represents a different kind of network.
What that means to the consumer who wants one of these plans is that their coverage they are expecting to get with the plan may not be available everywhere. Only certain healthcare facilities are partnered with certain insurance companies and their medical coverage plans. So buying a Medicare Advantage Plans plan with one insurance company may not make the coverage as widely available as it would be with another company.
The network your plan comes with dictates where you can receive coverage with that plan. For an HMO, the coverage is only given if you go to a healthcare facility that is on the issuing company’s network. An exception may be made in emergency cases.
For a PPO, the coverage is available at any medical facility in the country, but only those that are part of the issuing company’s network will provide full coverage. All other healthcare facilities only need to offer partial coverage.
You should definitely take networks into consideration as you try to decide on a Medicare Advantage Plans 2017 plan. Each company that sells these plans has their own company, and that can make a huge difference in the kind of coverage you receive. By using our website to check plans in your area you will be able to see the very best options for the 2017 Medicare Advantage plans.
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