How Do Medicare Advantage Plans Work in Alabama?
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Until recently, there was only one way to go when it came to Medicare coverage. First you would acquire Medicare coverage. You would then supplement your coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan.
A stand-alone Medicare plan contains "gaps" in coverage that can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs for several possible medical circumstances. There are a variety of Medicare supplement health plan options that provide
different levels of supplement protection. The various plan types are designated by letters of the alphabet (A-N). Generally, the more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the cost of the supplement plan.
Good to know: Plans that pay higher portion of your medical costs, but have a higher premium, are good if: you have pre-existing conditions, take expensive meds on a regular basis, are planning to have child, are expecting to undergo surgery, or have a chronic condition. If you're in good health and only go to the doctor for routine checkups, consider a plan with a lower monthly premium and higher out-of-pocket costs.
In Alabama, Medicare Advantage Plans are an "all in one" alternative to the Original Medicare / Supplement plan arrangement. These plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still have Medicare. These "all in one" plans include Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and usually Medicare prescription drug (Part D).
Medicare Advantage Plans cover all services covered by original Medicare. In addition, Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same level of coverage as the Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage.
In almost every case, Advantage plans feature several attractive additional benefits that are not covered by original Medicare. Dependent upon which Alabama advantage plan you choose, these benefits may include coverage for vision care,
hearing aids, dental care, prescription drug coverage, transportation to and from medical facilities, and even fitness center membership. The end result is a very comprehensive medical insurance plan.
If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The private insurer determines what the Medicare Advantage plan premium will be.
This premium amount will vary from one plan style to another.
Medicare Advantage plans tend to be significantly less expensive than Medicare Supplement coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans may have premiums as low as $0.
Copay costs may also be less with a Medicare Advantage plan. For, example, if you visit a primary care physician under a Medicare Advantage plan, you may pay a copayment of $10.
However, if you visit a primary care physician under Original Medicare, you may have a coinsurance of 20%, which could be significantly more than $10.
A Medicare Advantage plan will limit your maximum out-of-pocket expense. Once you have spent that maximum, you pay nothing for covered medical services for the remainder of the year.
Good to know: Talk to an independent agent. An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price.
Medicare Advantage Rules and Guidelines
Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care each month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. In turn, these companies must follow rules set by Medicare.
Each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different Out-of-pocket costs. They can also have different rules for how you get services – for example:
Which Medicare Avantage Plan Carriers Are Available in Alabama?
- Whether you need a referral to see a specialist.
- What shared medical costs you are responsible for.
Following is a list of some of the insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama:
- Simpra Advantage - Alabama. (Several plan variations)
- Aetna - Alabama . (Several plan variations)
- Cigna - Alabama . (Several plan variations)
- Viva - Alabama. (Several plan variations)
- Humana. (Several plan variations)
- Blue Advantage. (Several plan variations)
- UnitedHealthcare. (Several plan variations)
- AARP. (Several plan variations)
Good to know: Just because your doctor writes you a prescription doesn't mean you can fill it. Expensive medications for treatment of certain cancers, diabetes, liver disease, and a host of other maladies can cost patients tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars if the insurer does not cover the drugs. But even if the drugs are covered, insurers have been known to try to stall, just to see if the patient will come up with the money to pay for the drugs rather than wait on the insurer's approval. What can we say? It happens.
For more information concerning Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, please give us a call.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Rates in Alabama.
Medicare Supplement Vs Medicare Advantage Plans.