Traditionally, Medicare benefits are offered directly through the Social Security Administration as a public benefit. If you don’t want the traditional Medicare option, you do have an alternative option. Medicare Advantage plans, or Part C of Medicare, are privately provided Medicare plans that offer members unique coverage choices that aren’t available with Original Medicare.
If you will be eligible for Medicare soon, here is what you need to know before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurance companies, therefore they are able to be flexible with which benefits they offer to their customers. All Medicare Advantage plans offer the basic Part A and Part B coverage, but also offer a wider range of benefits that can be used to optimize your overall health. For example, a majority of Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, which allows members to purchase drugs at affordable prices.
Other plans include other coverage, such as hearing, vision, or dental insurance. These benefits are not available through the Medicare program, so Advantage plans open up new avenues of coverage that are not available to Original Medicare members. You can also get other useful benefits like affordable transportation to and from medical appointments or gym memberships. To find the optimal benefits package in your area, speak with an insurance professional.
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If you wish to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans in your area, you will need to do so during the appropriate enrollment period. The best enrollment period to rely on is the Initial Enrollment Period, which occurs right before you turn 65 and is a 7 month enrollment period. If you enroll after your 65th birthday, you may receive your benefits later than if you had enrolled in advance. However, keep in mind that to enroll in Medicare Advantage, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare first.
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you can also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan between October 15 and December 7. This is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, so you can use that time to join, switch, or drop any plan. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to another plan or back to Original Medicare between January 1 and March 31. If you recently experienced life events that would prevent you from enrolling during any of these periods, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. To learn if you can use a Special Enrollment Period to get coverage now, contact our insurance team.
Find Out More About Medicare Advantage
Sometimes, an area can have more than 50 Medicare Advantage plans being sold. Comparing all of these plans can be difficult on your own, so it’s about time you got help. The knowledgeable insurance experts at T&T Insurance can supply you with answers to your questions about Medicare Advantage, then help you shop for local plans. Give us a call at 800-MI-NORTH (800-646-6748) to get a free quote.