Which Advantage Plan Should You Choose?
If you have decided that a Medicare advantage plan is probably the route you are going to take when signing up for Medicare, the next challenge is to pick a plan. Most major health insurance organizations offer Medicare advantage plans, though all will be slightly different as to what they will cover and how much the copayments will be. These slight differences can make all of the difference in your quality of life. On paper, the plans may look almost identical, but here are a few key differences to consider when deciding on a plan.
Copayments are part of the beauty of advantage plans. Instead of having to pay a large sum upfront, you simply pay a small copayment for whatever service you require. This pay-as-you-go method can save you a lot of money over time. Each plan varies on how much you are required to pay. It is important to put these copayments into specific situations in order to appropriately calculate how much you will be spending and saving. For example, imagine that you have some specific health challenge that requires you to see a specialist twice a month. That specialist copayment can add up, especially if you would have a smaller copayment with a different plan. While you might have to pay more for a plan with a smaller copayment, you may end up saving money.
In-Network vs Out-of-Network
Some advantage plans only cover services that are done within their network of providers. This can be challenging if you are needing a specific service or surgery from a specialist that is not covered by your plan. However, some slightly more expensive plans will cover a large percentage of any out-of-network medical services, allowing you a wider network of professionals to choose from.
A major difference that is apparent from plan to plan is how much you will be required to pay out of pocket. Some plans require that you pay $5,000 before they will cover you 100%, while others require more or less. Weigh these different maximums and really consider what you will be able to pay before making a decision.
In conclusion, after you have done your homework as to the ins and outs of each advantage plan, you should be able to make an educated decision as to which plan would best suit your needs. Remember that, before deciding on a plan, it is always a good idea to call your physicians and make sure that they accept your new plan. If you can avoid changing doctors, it is best to do so. Good luck with your new advantage plan!