| Tue, Apr 19, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Advantage: Is it Right for You?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Couple SmilingIf you’re a current or soon-to-be Medicare beneficiary, you may be interested in learning about Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans include all of the coverage offered through Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus additional coverage that may include hearing, eye care and prescription drugs, depending on the plan. To determine if a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you it’s a good idea to first understand your current coverage, review your recent health care needs and consider what your needs are likely to be the coming year.

Understand Your Current Coverage

Whether you’re already receiving Medicare coverage or you’re new to Medicare, it’s a good idea to review your current health care coverage.  Do you have prescription drug coverage? What is your deductible? Look closely at the coverage you’re currently depending upon and ask yourself if it’s adequate, where it’s lacking and if you’re paying for coverage you don’t need.

Review Your Recent Health Care Needs

It’s also helpful to review your health care needs. How often do you go to the doctor? What tests or procedures have you had recently? It’s important to be very thorough and to take note of all of the health care services you’ve recently received.

Consider Your Future Health Care Needs

After reviewing your recent health care needs, you can use that information to look ahead and consider what your needs may be in the coming year. You may want to make a list of the prescriptions, tests, procedures, doctor visits, that you think you’ll need. Though there is no way to truly predict your future health care needs, you can make an educated guess and try to ensure that you have coverage for the services you are most likely to seek or require.

Is Medicare Advantage Right for You?

Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers, there are many different plans available with different benefits, coverage and costs. Insurers have the ability to set the terms of each plan, so it’s important to shop around and compare before making a selection.

You may want to start by reviewing the coverage available to you through Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). It may be that your health care needs are well covered by the benefits that Original Medicare offers. If you still want to look into Medicare Advantage, you will need to call your local Social Security office for a list of the plans available in your area. You can then get specific information about each plan from the insurer that offers it.

With information about your plan options and your needs in hand, you can decide whether a Medicare Advantage plan is the right choice for you.

Still have questions? Here are some additional resources.

Medicare Resources:

Social Security

Call 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit secure.ssa.gov to locate the Social Security office nearest you.

Medicare Made Clear

Visit MedicareMadeClear.com to learn more about Medicare Advantage and how it works. You can also call the helpline 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.

The Medicare Helpline

The Medicare helpline provides information about Medicare and detailed information about the plans in your area. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or go to Medicare.gov.

Medicare Made Clear Show Me Guide

You can download our Show Me Guide for information about Medicare. Pages 16 and 17 provide information specific to Medicare Advantage.

Additional Resources:

http://www.medicaremadeclear.com/Understanding-Medicare/Part-C.aspx?mtag=soc_bl

http://www.medicaremadeclear.com/Making-Choices/Compare-Costs-and-Coverage.aspx?mtag=soc_bl

http://www.medicaremadeclear.com/Getting-Started/Getting-Ready-for-Medicare.aspx?mtag=soc_bl

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare®, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.

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