Medicare Advantage plans are health insurance plans offered by private insurance companies. There are two primary types of plans: Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Coverage (MAPD). You may recognize these types of plans, as they’re a popular choice among retirees because of their convenience and wide range of extra benefits. At their core, MA and MAPD plans include the same coverage offered by Original Medicare—the advantage is found in the one-stop-shop approach for meeting seniors’ Medicare needs with a single plan and extra benefits. Plus, if you are enrolled in the right plan for your needs, you can lower your costs, pay a single low-cost or zero-dollar monthly premium, see your preferred health care providers, and gain additional benefits.
All About MA Plan Networks
One of the most important things to think about when considering a Medicare Advantage plan is the plan’s network. MA plans work the same way as an HMO or PPO plan that you may have experienced while on employer-provided health insurance. The plan’s network includes a specific set of providers and hospitals that are considered “in-network.” MAPD plans will note the pharmacies that are considered in-network, too.
One false assumption that is easy to make is that a plan’s network may be small and therefore limited in options. However, the reality is that most MAPD plans are quite large and often include multiple hospital and provider systems. In fact, studies show that Medicare Advantage plans continue to expand their networks, and the popularity and growth of Medicare Advantage plans encourages providers to remain part of a plan’s network.
While it’s true that a MA plan can change its list of doctors and physicians considered in-network at any time throughout the year, all plans must ensure you do not experience interruptions in medical care and must make sure you have sufficient access to care.
How the ‘One-Plan Approach’ Can Work for You
Medicare Advantage plans are growing in popularity due in large part to the predictability they offer. These plans help you better manage your costs by offering consistent copays, capped annual out-of-pocket expenses, and stable low or zero-dollar premiums. MA plans also include supplemental benefits typically worth over $1,200 that continue to drive more and more retirees to enroll. In addition to large networks and low-cost premiums, MA and MAPD plans generally offer extra benefits, like:
- Hearing-Loss Coverage
- Over-the-Counter Allowances
- Telehealth Benefits
- Fitness Options
- And More
On top of this, the premiums and benefits for medical and prescription drug coverage are combined into a single plan with just one low or zero-dollar premium payment—making it easier for you to keep track of your health care expenses and get back to enjoying your retirement.
Considering if a Medicare Advantage Plan is Right for You?
If you have questions about Medicare Advantage plans, reach out to us! We are happy to discuss your needs and help you determine if a Medicare Advantage plan is the right fit for you. You can reach us at 1-877-222-1942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not a RetireMEDiQ client and have questions about retirement, Medicare, or any topics discussed in this post, please contact us at 1-855-999-7039 or email@example.com. We look forward to helping you!