Why is a Medicare Advantage Plan Important?

“I have Medicare. Isn’t that enough?” Sadly, when it comes to comprehensive medical coverage, Medicare alone isn’t enough. Most people don’t realize that Medicare is essentially catastrophic coverage. And, there’s plenty it doesn’t cover as well. This is why having a Medicare Advantage Plan is important.

What is Medicare Advantage?

It’s important not to confuse Medigap insurance with Medicare Advantage Plans. They’re not the same. Medicare Advantage or Part C is an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A & B) offered by a Medicare-approved private insurance company. Yeah, that’s a mouthful. 

Again, Medicare Advantage is a private health plan that includes Medicare Parts A & B and most Medicare Advantage Plans also include Part D for prescription coverage. The Medicare.gov website has a great table to compare and contrast Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage is not necessarily free. Many factors affect the cost of the Medicare Advantage Plan you choose, including premium options, copay options, and Part D options. Those costs will remain the same for the entire year; plans can only change on January 1.

“Each year, plans set the amounts they charge for premiums, deductibles, and services. The plan (rather than Medicare) decides how much you pay for the covered services you get. What you pay the plan may change only once a year, on January 1.” Medicare.gov

Why is a Medicare Advantage Plan Important?

You may prefer to pay for one plan that covers most of what you want and to include your current doctors. This is a major reason why Medicare recipients prefer to engage in a private plan. Most Medicare Advantage plans include things that Original Medicare doesn’t – like vision, hearing, and dental services. 

As we age, hearing checkups, proper dental care, and vision care become more important indicators of overall health. For example, dental disease can affect your heart, vision problems could indicate issues with diabetes, and hearing issues could be related to repeated sinus infections. Neglecting these areas of your health to save a few dollars may not be the best investment in your future.

It’s also important to research the best options before Open Enrollment so that you’re not confused or feel rushed or pressured into making a quick decision. Medical insurance is too important to be a hurried choice. Not only is it a hassle to change insurance plans (because of medical records and billing and more) but you won’t want to choose a plan that doesn’t have a wide acceptance where you live – or plan to live. (Learn from this writer’s mistakes.)

What Are The Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2022?

According to Value Penguin, the best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2022 include Kaiser, AARP, and Aetna for different reasons.

For best overall Medicare Advantage Plan, Value Penguin rates Kaiser Permanente at the top with a 5.0 rating on Medicare.gov. Blue Cross has the largest network for Medicare Advantage Plans so this may be the best option if you plan to travel often. Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan is more than just looking at cost or convenience. That’s why Healthy Access is here to help.

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