Medicare Advantage Plans Kick It Up a Notch With More BenefitsPosted by Medicare Made Clear
You could have more and better Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) choices for next year. Medicare announced that plans may offer more benefits than in the past.
A key appeal of Medicare Advantage plans is that they provide benefits that you don’t get with Original Medicare (Parts A & B). For example, most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage (Part D). Many also cover routine dental, vision and hearing care and gym memberships. Plus, all Medicare Advantage plans provide financial protection by putting a cap on your annual out-of-pocket costs. Plans pay 100% of the cost for covered health care services after the cap.
About 34% of Medicare beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, according to government statistics. That’s up from 30% in 2016. The program has grown steadily since it was established as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and customer satisfaction remains high.
Medicare Advantage plans are private plans offered by companies approved by Medicare.
Now Offering More Benefits
The list of additional benefits with Medicare Advantage is about to get longer. New benefits go beyond basic doctor and hospital coverage to help support your overall health and wellness. Here are just some of the services that plans may now cover:
- Rides to the doctor and other medical appointments
- In-home medical visits
- Home safety devices such as grab bars, personal emergency response systems and wheelchair ramps
- Home-delivered meals
- Home care such as help bathing, dressing and eating
Medicare Advantage offerings are expected to expand further in 2020 with plans tailored to help meet the specific needs of people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart failure.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve hesitated to consider a Medicare Advantage plan, this may be your year to shop. There will be more and better choices, since many companies will be introducing new plans with extended benefits.
It’s a good idea to review your current coverage each year. Our Plan Review Worksheet is a simple guide to help you do this.
When shopping for plans, be sure research all the plans available to you. Look at coverage, provider networks and all costs – not just premiums. Plans may vary widely so the best approach is to look at each one with your personal health care and budget needs in mind.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.