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Your Guide to 2023 Medicare Advantage Plans

Your Guide to 2023 Medicare Advantage Plans

| April 04, 2023

Though an Original Medicare plan is a great way to get hospital and medical insurance, it doesn’t cover prescription drugs, vision, hearing, or dental services. A Medicare Advantage Plan, on the other hand, may offer you more comprehensive coverage at a lower cost. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare Advantage Plans in 2023.

What’s a Medicare Advantage Plan?

A Medicare Advantage Plan is a form of insurance approved by Medicare but purchased from a private company instead. Usually, a Medicare Advantage Plan consists of the following:

  • Part A: Hospital coverage
  • Part B: Medical coverage
  • Part D: Prescription drugs
  • Other Benefits: Vision, dental, or hearing coverage and other services

By contrast, Original Medicare Plans come standard with Part A and Part B, while Part D while other types of supplemental coverage are considered add-ons. Medicare Advantage Plans let you bundle different types of insurance at once, so you’ll often have lower out-of-pocket costs.

How Do Medicare Advantage Plans Work?

Since Medicare must approve Medicare Advantage Plans, any company offering an Advantage Plan must follow the rules and guidelines that Medicare sets. You also get the same rights and protections under a Medicare Advantage Plan as you would have under the original plan. 

If you choose an Advantage Plan, Medicare will pay a set premium to your insurance company each month, but some out-of-pocket costs will still be required from you, which can vary between specific plans. 

Some may require a referral before seeing a specialist, for instance. In addition, most will require you to see providers within their specified network for non-emergency care, whereas, with Original Medicare, you can visit any provider.

What Costs Will I Need to Pay?

Different Medicare Advantage Plans will involve different premiums, deductibles, and other costs. However, you always need to pay a premium for Part B coverage (typically around $170, though it can be more if you make a higher-than-average income). 

Here are the costs you can expect to pay under an Advantage Plan:

  • Deductible: The amount you pay before your insurance starts sharing costs
  • Copayment: The set amount owed for a given service (for instance, $20 for a primary care visit)
  • Coinsurance: A percentage of costs you may need to pay after your deductible (for example, 20% of emergency room costs)
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The maximum amount you are required to pay out-of-pocket, after which your insurance pays for all covered services
  • Extra Coverage: In some cases, you may need to pay extra to get vision, hearing, dental, or other types of coverage

If you keep the same plan each year, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change that informs you of any imminent changes in coverage. Make sure to review the notice carefully. If you find that you’ll be paying more, it may be worth it to seek out a new plan.

When and How Can I Enroll?

There are a couple of ways to register for a Medicare Advantage Plan. During the Open Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7 of each year), as long as you already have Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan, switch plans, or drop yours entirely. If your request is received by December 7, it will take effect on January 1.

A special enrollment period just for Medicare Advantage Plans also exists and runs from January 1 to March 31, during which you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan if you already have one. Of course, you also have the option to switch back to your Original Medicare.

It can be helpful to view available plans before the enrollment period begins. However, they often differ by area, so visit Medicare.gov/plan-compare for more information.

Is a Medicare Advantage Plan Right for You?

The right health insurance plan can significantly impact your well-being, but when deciding between plans, you may find it hard to tell which one best suits your needs. At Good Life, we’re committed to helping secure a better financial future for our clients. We’ll review your insurance options with you and help you choose the Medicare Advantage Plan that best suits your needs.

For those under an Original Medicare Plan, another option you may wish to consider is Medigap policies. These plans can help offset the costs of healthcare services that aren’t covered under Original Medicare. However, if you aren’t sure which option is best for you, our team at Good Life is here to help. To learn more, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Again, thank you for visiting our blog, and we hope to help you soon!