Deciding whether Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medicare Advantage Plans are going to be the better buy isn’t easy. In 2012, the average price of Medicare Advantage Plans was down 7.2 percent, and the leading plans still get federal subsidies. By 2017, Medigap Plan enrollees may have to pay a surcharge for plans that cover Medicare co-pays and other “first dollar” expenses.
Medicare, itself, is likely to see changes, too. Republican candidates have been running on cutting Medicare, and the Obama administration has proposed a $25 increase on Part B deductibles and a $100-per-episode fee for home health care. Rather than trying to predict the future, concentrate on getting the most for your money right now. That means comparing Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans this year, next year, and every year.
One big selling point for Medicare Advantage Plans is that while they usually expand on Medicare’s coverage, they may not cost any more than the Medicare Part B premiums you already pay. Another major attraction is that Medicare Advantage Plans accept applications from people who have a health problem, with the exception of end-stage renal disease.
I know it really sounds good, and one of the Medicare Advantage plans may be just right for you, but there are some things you need to think about before you enroll. With the exception of emergency treatment, these plans usually restrict coverage to their own list of doctors and hospitals. And, a plan may not cover every prescribed medicine, so be sure your medication will be covered. To find out more about the plans that are available where you live, you can request free quotes on our website or call us and request a free confidential consultation.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.