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Common Questions About Medicare Advantage Answered
July 16, 2021 at 9:30 PM
We're answering common questions about Medicare Advantage.

For many, health and medical needs increase with age, making it critical to sign up for a Medicare plan that meets your unique needs. But, you also don’t want to overspend on benefits you won’t use. Figuring out the complicated Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans to find the perfect coverage is often more involved than people expect. Researching the different options and discussing them with your primary care physician will give you complete confidence in your future health and wellness.

This blog post will answer common questions about Medicare Advantage plans.

Stethoscope and Laptop Computer. Laptop computers and other kinds of mobile devices and communications technologies are of increasing importance in the delivery of health care. Photographer Daniel Sone

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare doesn’t cover all medical expenses, leaving seniors needing supplemental or gap insurance to avoid getting stuck with sky-high out-of-pocket expenses. There are two ways to find the extra coverage you need.

Original Medicare

This is the Medicare with which most people are familiar. You sign up through the federal government for Part A (hospital costs) and Part B (medical expenses). Then, you choose a separate Part D (prescription drug plan) and pay for additional Medigap insurance.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is through private insurance companies, as a traditional HMO or PPO. Referred to as Part C, this all-in-one coverage combines Parts A, B, D, and gap insurance.

Most plans limit the amount patients will pay out-of-pocket each year, and some include vision, dental, and hearing.

What are the “advantages” of Part C?

Simplicity is one of the major benefits of Medicare Advantage. Rather than sorting through four separate parts (A, B, D, gap) to ensure you’re adequately covered for the future, Part C rolls everything into one plan.

That single plan may offer greater coverage than the original if you opt for a package that includes dental, vision, and hearing.

You’re also able to predict your healthcare costs for the year with greater accuracy because of the capped out-of-pocket expense. You’ll pay your co-share up to a certain amount, and then Part C will cover 100% of the costs after that.

Is Medicare Advantage more expensive?

Because Part C is through private insurance providers and covers more than Original Medicare, many seniors fear it’s more expensive.

In truth, it’s hard to predict the exact cost. Even with the rolled-together plans, you can still customize Medicare Advantage for the healthcare experience you want, for your budget.

The overall cost also depends on where in the country you live, the monthly premium you want to pay, and the doctors who are in-network. Just like with other health insurance, the factors can change every year.

Can I use Medicare Advantage as my Medigap insurance?

This question reinforced the versatility and variety of Part C plans. You can enroll in Original Medicare Part A and Part B and then find a MA plan that will give you the additional coverage you want.

If you structure your health insurance in this way, your Part C will include Part D prescription drug coverage. It’s still simpler than enrolling exclusively in Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage is, in essence, local healthcare, with each plan including providers within a single zip code. All forms of Medicare Part A cover emergency care in case you need to go to the hospital while traveling. But Original Medicare with MA gap coverage may better serve you if you’re a snowbird or live bi-coastally.

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Common Health dedicates itself to providing Medicare Advantage seniors with exceptional primary care.

Common Health offers convenient locations, telemedicine appointments, and 24/7 patient care teams. We’re here to provide guidance and advice whether you need an appointment, prescription refill, or simply need your questions answered. Your health is our foremost priority.

If you have questions about Common Health or Medicare Advantage, reach out to speak with a Common Health representative. We’re making healthcare simpler for seniors in South Florida.

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