We understand how confusing Medicare can be, that’s why we want to make everything as clear for you. A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan that is offered through private carriers. This plan covers all the benefits that are covered under Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) plus extra benefits. You can select from HMOs, PPOs, Private Fee-for-Service, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.
Who qualifies for Medicare Advantage?
You must be eligible for Medicare and already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare). If so, you are eligible to sign up for Medicare Advantage plan. This also includes those that are under 65 and have qualified for Medicare due to a disability.
What is covered under Medicare Advantage?
- Routine dental and vision care
- Hearing care and allowances for hearing aids
- Memberships to gyms and wellness programs
- Non-emergency medical transportation
When can I sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan?
During Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
The first time you enroll is called the Initial Enrollment Period, this is a 7-month time frame. It begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends the month 3 months after you turn 65. If you miss your IEP, you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP).
During the General Enrollment Period (GEP)
The General Enrollment Period is for individuals who are eligible for Medicare who did not sign up during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). The GEP begins January 1st and goes through March 31st every year. For those that will enroll in the GEP, coverage will begin July 1st of that year. Unfortunately, individuals that miss the IEP and sign up during the GEP will face-late enrollment penalties.
Once you have enrolled in Parts A and B, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan April through June of that year.
During a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
There are circumstances that may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which allows you to enroll in Medicare plans that are not within your Initial Enrollment Period and the General Enrollment Period. Talk to an agent specializing in Medicare about your situation to see if you qualify for an SEP.
There is also a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 until March 31. This, however, is for individuals already on a Medicare Advantage Plan looking to switch plans or go to Original Medicare.
How much do Medicare Advantage Plans Cost?
The cost you pay out-of- pocket can vary depending on the following:
- Monthly premiums
- If the plan has any deductibles
- How much you’re paying for visits or each service for example, copayment or coinsurances
- Type of health care services you need and how often you might get them
- If you follow the plan’s rules
- If you need extra benefits and if the plan charges an extra fee for it
- If you get help from the state or have Medicaid
- The plan chosen yearly limits and your out-of-pocket costs for all medical services
How do I sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Reach out to an agent specializing in Medicare that can walk you through these steps. We want to make sure you are comfortable with your plan and understand your insurance.