The federal government offers different types of Medicare health insurance plans. The primary beneficiaries of the Medicare program include senior citizens, end-stage renal disease patients, and young disabled Americans. It’s important to note that each Medicare plan covers a specific healthcare need. Therefore, knowing what your Medicare plan can help you get the maximum advantage out of it.
Understand How Original Medicare Differs from Medicare Advantage
Over the last decade, the Medicare Advantage plan enrollment rate has grown, currently standing at over 40%. The major reason for the growth is that Medicare Advantage plans provide enhanced benefits. It also offers all the benefits offered by the Original Medicare, including inpatient hospital stays, outpatient care, preventive services, and extra coverage for prescription drugs, routine exams, and dental, hearing, and vision services. Understanding this difference would help you unlock all the additional benefits offered by your Medicare Advantage and utilize them fully.
Get to Know Your Coverage In-depth
Medicare Advantage plans typically cover hospice care, doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription drugs, dental, and vision services. However, some plans go beyond that and offer non-medical enhanced benefits such as nutrition, gym membership, and transportation. Therefore, to ensure you get the most out of your policy, read the fine print thoroughly to learn as much as you can. You can also talk to a qualified Medicare agent to learn more.
Make Use of Preventive Care Benefits
Some Medicare plans provide preventive care benefits that can cover screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Original Medicare allows policyholders to attend preventative screening sessions once every year. On the other hand, some Medicare Advantage plans have a house call program that enables the policyholder to call for an in-home wellness session that involves preventive screening. If your policy has these benefits, ensure you utilize them properly.
Lower the Costs of Prescription Drugs
While Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for prescription drugs, they typically exclude delivery costs, meaning you have to pay for shipping out of pocket. You can save on shipping costs by taking advantage of the pharmacy that delivers medicines (ordered in bulk) to your home at a low cost. Another way to lower the cost of prescription drugs is to purchase them from pharmacies within the Medicare network.
Plan Your Yearly Expenses According to the Out-of-Pocket Maximum
Although Medicare plans cover up to 80% of your healthcare expenses, you also have a portion to pay out of pocket. Each plan requires a specific out-of-pocket maximum amount, depending on how much you’re paying. For instance, Original Medicare plans need you to pay 20% of the Part A and B expenses out of pocket, although there is no annual maximum.
In contrast, Medicare Advantage plans stipulate an out-of-pocket yearly maximum that you should pay. Once you’ve paid up to your annual limit, your policy will cover the rest of the expenses for the year, provided they are Medicare-covered. This is an advantage as it enables you to comfortably plan your expenses for the year and have peace of mind just in case you fall sick unexpectedly.
At Medicare Advisors, our experienced professionals will help you get the most out of your Medicare Advantage plan. Contact us today to learn more.