What You Should Know About Your Medicare Advantage Policy
Medicare Advantage policies seem complicated until you get to know them. The team at CoverageCoach is here to help. Think of Medicare Advantage plans as an all-in-one alternative for Original Medicare, with more bells and whistles.
Here, we’ll discuss what you’ll need to know about your Medicare Advantage plan. We’ll start with a definition, and explain the value of a Medicare Advantage plan. After finishing this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s involved in this plan, its coverages, and enrollment periods.
Medicare Advantage Defined
Medicare.gov says, “Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called Part C or MA Plans, are an ‘all in one’ alternative to Original Medicare.”
- Private insurance companies issue these senior health insurance policies. Medicare approves them.
- If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still have Medicare.
- These bundled plans include Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and usually prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Understand Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage policy when you’re eligible to enroll in Original Medicare. For most folks, this will be the seven-month enrollment window that occurs around your 65th birthday. The seven-month window occurs three months before your birth month, includes your month of birth, and three more months.
- If you’re turning 65, working full-time, and receiving health insurance from your employer, you don’t need to enroll in Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage yet.
- But you can if you want to.
- If you’re self-employed or work for a small company (that offers expensive healthcare benefits), it’s worth talking to a consultant to see if you’ll save money switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.
If your seven-month window passes because you’re working, you can enroll for Medicare Advantage when you retire later, or when your employer stops providing health insurance.
- This second enrollment opportunity is known as the Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
- Other unique situations can trigger an enrollment opportunity too.
- If you move out of state, for example, your original Medicare Advantage plan might not be available.
- If this happens, you will be able to enroll in a new policy.
Medicare Advantage and COVID-19
Due to Coronavirus, Medicare has had some minor changes, especially Part D (prescription drug coverage).
- In a nutshell, anyone with Part D coverage can now purchase most prescriptions in a 90-day supply.
- The 90-day prescription supply means fewer doctor visits. Also, it means fewer trips to the pharmacy and meaningful savings on co-pays at the drug store.
- If your family needs several prescriptions, we encourage you to stock up now.
- This is because we don’t know how long this benefit will last.
Learn More About Your Medicare Advantage Plan
If you need to learn more about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement/Medigap, CoverageCoach is here to help. We’re ready to provide you with a no-cost, no-pressure consultation if you need to know more.