Are Medicare Advantage Plans A Better Option?

Are Medicare Advantage Plans A Better Option?

One of the most important points of sale that Medicare Advantage Plans has is the low cost. The federal government still subsidizes these plans and has a new strategy that makes certain prices more attractive. They are now rated on a five-star scale and a high rating means more federal funds. This, in turn, means that premiums can be low because the insurance company is earning more federal money from the plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans See a decrease in premiums

Medicare Advantage plans are expected to be less expensive in 2012. Is a four percent drop in cost projected, with an average of $ 32 per month? This is quite remarkable considering that some of these policies already cost $ 0 above the price of the Medicare Part B premium.

In 2012, Medicare Part B premiums will increase by only $ 3.50 for most beneficiaries. However, this is the first time in three years that Medicare beneficiaries have had any increase in these premiums.

For beneficiaries who spend enough on direct costs to meet the Part B franchise, there will be some savings. The $ 162 deductible will be reduced to $ 140 in 2012. Beneficiaries do not have to reach the deductible before a long list of preventive health care services is covered. These preventive services are specific to each age group, so living longer can actually entitle you to more covered medical care.

Medicare health plans are expected to see an increase in membership

Currently, only about 25% of people eligible for Medicare receive benefits through one of the Medicare Advantage Plans. However, with the fall in premiums, private insurers expect an increase in enrollment in 2012.

The other big selling point of Medicare Advantage plans is low cost combined with expanded coverage. Plans must provide all traditional Medicare benefits by law, but most plans add additional value. They usually pay benefits for dental services, help with hearing aids and offer some vision care coverage.

In addition, there is another reason to choose an Advantage plan. They offer guaranteed acceptance for all pre-existing health conditions, except end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

With these benefits, it is difficult to understand why more Medicare beneficiaries are not exploring this option. This could offer additional coverage for the same price they are already paying.

Medicare benefit plans vary in availability

Certain areas of the country, such as urban areas, can choose between two dozen MA plans, but there are no Advantage plans available in some parts of the country. If you are lucky enough to have several options where you live, be sure to compare coverage and cost.

How to choose the Medicare supplement plan and save money?

How to choose the Medicare supplement plan and save money?

When it comes to buying Medicare supplement insurance, many Medicare agents and beneficiaries see the Medicare Supplement Plan F as the “Cadillac Supplemental Medicare Plans.”

Now, before viewing the Medicare supplement, make sure you understand some basic information about the insurance product. Medicare, a government-run health program, helps provide health insurance coverage for people over 65, as well as for people under 65 and disabled. Medicare, on its own, does not offer enough health insurance but heading to can save you money. Many gaps in coverage exists whereby a recipient would be liable for paying the bills. A Medicare Supplemental plan is a health coverage policy that helps you fill in the loop hole that Medicare does not cover, so it is also called Medigap Insurance.

The three most important factors to consider are your financial situation, health history and personal opinions about medical care.

Financial situation:

First, we make sure that our client can pay either a Medicare supplement or a Medicare Advantage Plan. The cost for Plan F generally begins at $95 and then increase to a standard F plan. The monthly premium for a supplemental plan varies according to the area in which you live, the selected insurance company, your age, whether you smoke or not, and sometimes subscribing to the guidelines. You should also plan to choose a prescription drug plan (average cost of about $ 40-70 / month and continue paying your Medicare Part B premium).

The cost of the plan will increase over time. If you can afford a supplemental plan, buy one now, preferably when you are eligible for Medicare and no longer have credible medical coverage. When you are first eligible for a Medicare S, you are not required to subscribe, the cost is cheaper and your approval is definite. The longer you have to wait, the more risk you run from being unable to pay a plan or qualify for one. Although the price is higher than the Medicare Advantage plan, the health insurance coverage provided by the Medicare Supplement is higher if you receive the Medicare Supplement Plan F.

Health History:

“A Medicare supplement is suitable for people of all health situations or for anyone who has a family history of health problems or who has a medical situation currently that requires frequent visits to the specialist, doctor, or hospital.” Well, if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan and have health problems (and let’s be honest, we’ll never know what your health will be like in the future), your frequent trips to Medicare services will add up all the co-payments you have to pay.

Medicare Advantage plans are open until December 7

Medicare Advantage plans are open until December 7

Whether or not you are satisfied with Medicare benefits, check for yourself what Medicare benefit plans are available where you live. Certain plans cost $ 0, or nothing more than what you are paying for Medicare Part B. This is because MA Plans are actually Medicare Part C. Insurance companies that offer this option receive subsidies paid by the federal government. They can still make a profit even at low prices or $0.

You only have until December 7 to decide if you want one of the MA plans to offer you your Medicare benefits. This year, the open enrollment period is earlier than last year. In this way, they can guarantee that those who register will benefit from January 1. If you discover that your new plan does not work as well as the Medicare coverage you left, you can return to traditional Medicare between January 1 and February 14 of next year. You can add an independent prescription drug plan at the same time to cover your prescriptions.

What’s good about Medicare benefit plans?

There are two main reasons why people select MA Plans. With one exception (terminal kidney disease), Medicare Advantage plans accept people with health problems. This is called guaranteed acceptance. The other reason has already been mentioned: MA plans can be very cheap. Certain plans may not cost more than what you are paying for Medicare Part B. In that case, it would be $0.

Next year, when your MA plan coverage starts anyway, Advantage plans will cover the same preventive health services at no additional cost that Medicare already covers. Every time you find a doctor who accepts the standard amount of your Medicare payment, you will not be paid or insured together or you will have to pay a deduction when you get preventive services from network providers.

As it is increasingly difficult to find doctors who work with Medicare, these Medicare Advantage plans can be helpful. They have networks of existing providers, as well as standard HMO and PPO plans. Medicare benefit plans generally add additional benefits that Medicare does not have, such as helping with glasses or hearing aids. Most Advantage plans also pay for certain prescriptions. However, not all medications are covered to confirm that the medication you need is covered before enrolling in an Advantage plan.

Do Medicare Advantage plans have disadvantages?

While having a provider network can be an advantage, you are generally restricted to using it unless you have an emergency. If you need a specialist who is not a covered provider, you will not be able to see this doctor through Medicare. MA plans essentially replace your Medicare coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans Cost Less In 2012

Medicare Advantage Plans Cost Less In 2012

You may have heard some depressing predictions that private insurance company Medicare Advantage Plans would soon reduce coverage benefits or increase premiums. Until now, nothing could be further from the truth. The Obama administration has said that almost 12 million beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage policies will observe their monthly fees reduce by an average of four percent next year, but the benefits will remain the same.

About a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in Advantage plans, according to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He expects enrollment to increase by 10% next year because these plans are also reducing the expenses that beneficiaries have. Plans will reduce copayments and deductibles. To give you an idea of ​​what price range we are talking about, the average monthly Medicare Advantage premium is around $ 39 this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The economic downturn, recession or whatever you want to call really reduced the cost of coverage.

Advantage members used minimal medical care during the crisis and insurers had fewer claims to cover. This means that they did not have to spend as much on the awards they received as they expected. There is also another incentive for insurers to keep the costs of their Medicare benefit plans low. These plans often provide coverage for prescription drugs, which puts them in competition with Medicare prescription drug plans, also known as Part D. The Obama administration has just announced that the cost of Part’s prescription drug plans D will also decrease slightly.

What forecasts with Medicare benefit plans would cost more? The government pays more per capita for private plan beneficiaries than for those enrolled in traditional Medicare. This year, federal payments for Medicare Advantage policies were frozen and payment cuts are expected. By 2012, payments will fall less than one percent for many, but not all, MA plans.

Many claimed that premiums would have to be increased to compensate for the reduction of federal funds. They were not included in other factors, such as insurers that spend less on claims or five-star plans that receive greater federal funding. The health reform is providing billions of dollars in the form of quality bonuses for four to five star plans under a five star rating system. Almost 90% of people enrolled in an Advantage plan did it buy clicking and can benefit if the plan earns a bonus. Before getting too excited, the plans have not had a good score this year, but more are expected to achieve the cut in 2012.

Do Medicare Supplement Plans Help Older People With Prescriptions?

Do Medicare Supplement Plans Help Older People With Prescriptions?

Despite the good news that the average Medicare Advantage premiums will decrease by four percent next year, there is worrying news for Medicare beneficiaries. According to a recent study by Avalere Health, co-payments for brand name drugs will increase in 2012.medicare supplement plans 2020

The copayment is a specific amount that your health insurance plan may require you to pay for a specific medical service or provision. For example, your health insurance plan may require a $ 25 copayment for a visit to the office or $ 35 for a brand name drug, after which the insurance company generally pays the rest of the charges.

The co-payment for preferred brand name drugs will increase by up to 40%, while non-preferred brand name drugs will increase by 30% on average. Preferred brand drugs are generally those for which the prescription drug plan has negotiated a discount with the manufacturer. As for the preferred generic drugs, the copays will remain unchanged. For non-preferred generics, copayments are expected to fall 43%. Medicare beneficiaries can find quotes and enroll by visiting are also expected to pay a larger portion of the cost of specialty drugs, which can exceed $ 1,000 per prescription. Specialized medications include most of the latest treatments for chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. New cancer drugs that come in the form of pills are also considered special medications.

Can Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part D prescription drug plans help?

Most Medicare benefit plans help with some, but not all, prescription drugs. The same goes for Medicare Part D, so you don’t need an Advantage plan and a Part D plan. Always check which medications are covered by each plan.

Medicare announced that Medicare Part D plan premiums would remain unchanged in 2012. Premiums still average around $ 30 per month. According to the Avalere study, plans with the lowest monthly premium may not always be the best offer.

Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere, said: “Older people should look beyond the prize to understand their benefits with medications. The more the cost is transferred to the patient who needs the medication, the more important it is for older people to understand the following level”.

According to the Medicare officials who read the study, the average prices charged for prescription drug plans do not determine what an individual beneficiary will eventually pay. Jon Blum, vice president of Medicare, said a general conclusion cannot be reached because each person’s medication needs are individualized. You should consider the specific plan and the medications the individual takes.

Is the review of medical care beneficial for the elderly?

As Blum noted, the health care review law is helping high-cost drug beneficiaries save money. For those who fall into the coverage gap of the period without Medicare coverage, beneficiaries can get a 50% discount on brand name drugs.