Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is Medicare coverage offered through private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. Under Medicare Advantage, you still have all the coverage you have under Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and some plans also offer Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Select Medicare Advantage plans even offer dental, hearing vision, and gym memberships.
New 2021 Medicare Advantage benefits
Medicare Advantage plans continue to expand their offerings and benefits. Here are some of the new benefits your plan could offer this year.
- Some Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental home health benefits, including adult daycare, transportation, telehealth, and meal delivery.
- Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients.
- Medicare Advantage plans will cover opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, as well as supplemental benefits such as chiropractic or massage therapy treatments for pain management as ordered by a doctor.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan
The best Medicare Advantage plan for you might not be the best one for your neighbor. It will depend on your doctors, what medications you take, where you live, and what network you are in.
Note that Medicare Advantage plans can change coverage each year, so check the mail for updates from your plan that may affect your coverage.
While Medicare Advantage plans might have lower premiums, they also have the restrictions of having to receive care in the network and getting referrals to see specialists.
Things to consider when choosing your Medicare Advantage plan
Don’t choose a Medicare Advantage plan simply based on the insurance company. Since each plan is different, it’s important to check the details first.
- Take a look at all the costs involved, including premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
- Check to see if your doctors are in the plan’s network. Check the plan’s online directory, and also double check by calling your doctor’s office.
- Each Medicare Advantage plan has a maximum out-of-pocket limit each year. The highest that limit can be is $6,700, yet some plans might set the limit lower. Make sure your plan’s limit fits within your budget.
- While most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D coverage, it’s important to check to make sure the drugs you take are on your plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs.
- Check to see that the plan you choose has a rating of 3.5 or higher on Medicare’s 5-star rating system. Plans with a higher star rating will provide a better overall experience and will also receive funding from the government to provide better services.
- When using Medicare’s Plan Finder, first search for plans that include your doctors, and then later narrow down by the drugs you take. Narrowing down by medications first might distort the results and not show you plans with the best costs for you.
Looking for the best Medicare Advantage plan for next year? MediQuote offers a free, quick process to compare plans. Compare plans to find the one that meets your needs.