Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, makes it possible for people with Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) to receive their Medicare benefits in an alternative way. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare and provide at least the same level of coverage that Medicare Part A and Part B provide.
You may be wondering which is the better choice: sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare. There isn’t a simple answer because Medicare Advantage plans have key features that many people find attractive and other characteristics that may not match with your personal preferences and/or lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at some of the important pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans
Pros of Medicare Advantage plans
Medicare Advantage plans often provide more benefits than you would receive under Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same level of coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B and many plans offer added benefits. These may include coverage for routine vision care, hearing aids, routine dental care, prescription drug coverage, and fitness center membership.
Medicare Advantage plans can serve as your “one-stop” center for all your health and prescription drug coverage needs.
Most Medicare Advantage plans combine medical and Part D prescription drug coverage. Many also coordinate the delivery of added benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing care. You may prefer the convenience of working with one plan administrator.
Cons of Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage plans may limit your freedom of choice in health care providers
With the federally administered Medicare program, you can generally go to any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare and receive the same level of Medicare benefits for covered services. In contrast, Medicare Advantage plans are more restricted in terms of their provider networks. If you go out of network, your plan may not cover your medical costs, or your costs may not apply to your out of pocket maximum.
Medicare Advantage plans’ coverage for some services and procedures may require doctor’s referral and plan authorizations.
Medicare Advantage plans try to prevent the misuse or overuse of health care through various means. This might include prior authorization for hospital stays, home health care, medical equipment, and certain complicated procedures. Medicare Advantage plans often also require your primary care doctor’s referral to see specialists before they will pay for services.
Medicare Advantage plans have specific service areas.
Most Medicare Advantage plans have regional (rather than nationwide) networks of participating providers. To enroll, you must reside in the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area at least 6 months of the year. If you divide your time between homes located in different areas, this requirement may be difficult to meet.
The bottom line is that Medicare Advantage plans may provide more affordable coverage than you would receive otherwise. The trade-off is that you have to follow the Medicare Advantage plan’s rules to receive payment for covered services.
Do you have other questions about Medicare Advantage? Call us and speak with a licensed insurance agent about finding Medicare Advantage plans in your area and your Medicare coverage options.