Going through life without a health insurance plan can be incredibly risky. Healthcare expenses in the USA are into the trillions of dollars and the cost for something relatively minor without insurance can run you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Insurance can save you from financial ruin, especially as many Americans cannot even cover a $1000 emergency.
However, choosing a healthcare plan is not always easy. There are dozens of different options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. While you think things may get easier once you become a senior citizen and enter retirement age, that isn’t always the case. For example, if you are older, you might go with original Medicare, your own private healthcare plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.
You might be curious about your options and ask yourself “What is a Medicare Advantage plan?”. Well, if that is a question you have had, you’re in the right place. This article is going to go over everything you should know about Medicare Advantage plans before ultimately choosing your healthcare.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
As you may know, Medicare is a national health insurance program in the USA. It generally helps those over the age of 65, but in some cases, those who are younger can join. Medicare is made up of four parts which are Parts A, B, C and D.
Many people will opt for original Medicare, which comprises of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). This is provided by the government. However, this coverage has some holes such as dental, vision, prescription drugs, just to name a few. That is where a Medicare Advantage plan comes in.
Medicare Advantage, which is also called Medicare Part C, is offered by private companies that work with Medicare to offer more customized and varied plans. These will include Medicare Parts A and B just like original Medicare, but can also include types of extra coverage. The cost of these plans can vary, as does what they cover.
Pros and Cons of a Medicare Advantage Plan
Now that you know a little about what a Medicare Advantage plan is, let’s look at some pros and cons of a Medicare Advantage plans to help you learn about if they are a good option for you. Let’s begin with the pros. A major benefit of a Medicare Advantage plan is that they are more customizable and have less holes. For example, many Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for prescription drugs, as well as for things like vision, hearing and dental. They can provide you with more coverage than original Medicare.
Another important benefit and pro about Medicare Advantage is that they actually have a limit on how much out of pocket expenses a person can have. Without a limit, people can be stuck paying a ton of out of pocket costs, which could ruin them financially.
These plans can often offer cost-savings and are generally more convenient as well, on top of having coordinated medical care. However, no plan is perfect, and there are also some drawbacks of going with a Medicare Advantage plan.
One drawback or con of these plans is that you could potentially be limited in the service providers you are able to visit or use. You may only be able to use providers in a certain network, unless you want to pay more. Another potential downside of a Medicare Advantage plan is that there can often be state-specific coverage. This means that you may not always be covered if you travel a lot, so keep that in mind.
Also, the fact that there are so many available Medicare Advantage plans can make choosing the right one tough. This, of course, can be a blessing and a curse. The costs can also vary greatly from plan to plan.
As you can see, there are many benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan, but also some drawbacks that you should keep in mind. If you are confused about whether the plan is right for you or have any questions, be sure to reach out to an expert or trusted professional in your area.
So before you choose a healthcare plan, be sure to learn all that you can about Medicare Advantage, as it could be the right plan for you. Of course, be sure to perform your own research on other types of medical insurance plans, as well.