You may have heard a lot about Medicare Advantage over the past few years. However, 46% of American seniors ‘never or very rarely’ check their plans and more than half don’t do so year to year, reports the NY Times.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? It might not be broken, but MA could work better for some seniors than traditional Medicare. Let’s have a look at a few basics.
You still have Medicare!
Medicare Advantage plans must include the benefits of traditional Medicare; that is to say the hospital insurance of Medicare Part A and the medical insurance of Medicare Part B. There’s the good news.
The even better news is that many Medicare Advantage plans can cover the supplementary services that traditional Medicare doesn’t – dental services like cleanings, x-rays and root canals, for example; helping lower out-of-pocket costs vs. traditional Medicare. Free routine hearing exams and allowances for hearing aids are often part of your MA policy.
Medicare Advantage – or Medicare Part C, as its also known plans – typically also includes an annual physical, and may offer more preventive care than traditional Medicare. And in Medicare Advantage plans, the same as traditional Medicare, you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care. Some Medicare Advantage plans will also cover prescription medicines, rolling your total care package under the one umbrella and eliminating the need for a separate Medicare Part D.
A Growing Sector
Medicare Advantage is booming. Some 42% of Medicare beneficiaries subscribe to Medicare Advantage plans, a figure that’s risen from 32% since 2015, with 2.5 million people opting for Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare during the same period. More federal funding is flowing into MA.
CBO projections show that by 2030, more than half of Medicare beneficiaries will be in MA plans. Medicare Advantage plans have become more popular during the pandemic, as many of them offer additional Covid-related services such as PPE and in 2021 more than 94% of Medicare Advantage plans were expected to offer additional telehealth benefits which will continue to benefit busy lifestyles long after the pandemic has abated.
It’s important to do your research and choose the right Medicare Advantage package for your lifestyle. Kelsey Care Advantage makes clear that while there are different variations of MA plans, each one includes free PCP visits – via telehealth or in-person – to a large network of physicians in the metro area.
An optical exam is included every year as are two visits to the dentist. From there, plans can be accommodated to your own circumstance. Many plans offer complimentary transport either conveniently using the nearest available Lyft driver, or with a wheelchair-adapted vehicle if necessary.
Advantage. Part D
Medicare Advantage, like traditional Medicare, is open to those with pre-existing conditions. If you currently get your prescriptions with help from Medicare Part D, you can choose an MA plan with drug coverage included. Kelsey Care plans offer insulin at an out-of-pocket maximum of $35 per month (and cheaper from a preferred pharmacy, which includes CVS and HEB).
If you currently receive extra assistance from Medicare to help with medicine costs, that can also be applied to a Medicare Advantage plan. We value being able to bring you news about important topics such as healthcare at Womenzmag, and always encourage readers to consult professionals to ensure their choices are informed.