Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plan is an alternative to Original Medicare plans that are offered by private health insurance companies. Original Medicare comprises Part A and Part B that covers hospital stays and physician services. Original Medicare coverage is offered by the federal government. Today about one-third of Medicare enrollees have a Medicare Advantage plan and around 11 million more people prefer to have a Medicare Advantage plan than 10 years ago. The reason behind the increased popularity of Medicare Advantage plans is comprehensive benefits covered under the plan. The plan provides coverage for dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage and in recent years, the federal government has allowed Medicare Advantage insurers to further expand its benefits. Thus Medicare Advantage is including some additional benefits to their plans in the year 2020.
Additional Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans in 2020
Around 250 Medicare Advantage plans will provide additional benefits in 2020, though the benefits will vary from plan to plan. The additional benefits offered by the Advantage plans will depend upon the plan, the insurance provider, and the market they will serve. For instance, if an Advantage plan serves a more rural area, then they may also be covered for transportation to visit for a doctor’s appointment. If the plan is available in a food desert area, then the plan may provide coverage for the member access to fresh produce and groceries. Additional benefits of Advantage Plans have also expanded opportunities for chronically ill patients and now offer benefits that improve health but are not connected directly to medical care for example transportation for non-medical needs, grocery shopping, and improved home environments.
Reasons to Switch to Medicare Advantage Plans
If people shopping for health insurance are still confused to whether change to Advantage plans or not might look at the following reasons:
- Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide the same level of coverage as Original Medicare and most of the Advantage plans are likely to provide more benefits than Original Medicare. Besides, Advantage plans usually offer better value in terms of lower monthly premiums and improved benefits. Along with the benefits of Original Medicare, beneficiaries may also receive other benefits like prescription drug coverage, and routine dental and vision care benefits. With Medicare Advantage plans, people establish a single point of contact for all their health insurance needs along with prescription drug benefits.
- If Medicare beneficiaries combine their Original Medicare with Medicare Advantage plan, then they can transfer it to the private insurance company of their choice. The private insurers are contracted with Medicare to provide similar coverage, and many of the companies provide these benefits at comparatively less than the Medicare premium or provide additional coverage for less amount.
- Beneficiaries having a Medicare Advantage plan will enjoy more flexibility to negotiate for copayments and coinsurances. They can even save on office visits and prescriptions.
- Medicare Advantage plans unlike Medicare Original plans limit beneficiaries out of pocket expenses and allow them to consider a worst-case scenario.
- Medicare Advantage plans are generally managed through a network of associated healthcare providers. Beneficiaries choose a Primary Care Physician to manage and coordinate their healthcare needs. Depending upon their plan, members can select either their current physician or a doctor that is more appropriate to their current needs.
- Medicare Advantage plans are more affordable and give beneficiaries more flexibility and better value to choose a plan that best meets their needs.
- Medicare Advantage plans offer more confidence and security because members are aware of their maximum risk.
Consideration for Medicare Advantage Plans in 2020
Medicare Advantage plans offer health coverage through a network of healthcare providers and if members want to be certain that their plan includes their current doctor then they need to consult their chosen health exchange to know about it. The health exchange will also be able to advise them on the plan that best meets their needs. Beneficiaries of Advantage plan if go off-network to receive medical care, then they may not be covered for medical costs and their plan might also not contribute towards their out-of-pocket maximum. Medicare Advantage plan is not a good option for people who travel a great deal. Simply because most of the Advantage plans have regional networks, though they can avail short-term coverage for occasional trips. The plan will still be less expensive than Original Medicare and members can make most from their plan.