If you’re just learning about Medicare Advantage plans, they are offered by private insurance companies contracted and approved by Medicare. These plans offer the same basic coverage as Original Medicare (parts A and B) but with some extra benefits.
Sometimes, these plans come at no extra cost to you! How is that? Since the insurance company will be taking care of the coverage, Medicare will pay a predetermined amount to the insurance companies. So, to entice Medicare beneficiaries to choose these plans, the insurance companies will offer better benefits.
The extra benefits include:
- Prescription drugs
- Fitness center memberships/classes
Benefits vary between plans so your offerings may include more or less.
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage during Medicare’s annual election period that runs October 15th through December 7th. There is also the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that runs January 1st through March 31st. During this time you can enroll in, remove yourself from, or change your Advantage plan.
Be sure you consult with a licensed Medicare agent as to which Advantage plan is right for you because your enrollment will have to continue for an entire year. You can only dis-enroll from a plan during certain times unless you qualify for a special election period.
So, what’s new with Medicare Advantage plans in 2020?
In 2020, Medicare Advantage plans are able to offer chronically ill patients new benefits to help them with their unique needs.
Again, your plan’s offerings may vary, but could include:
- Meal delivery
- Transportation to grocery stores
- Healthy food and produce
- In-home support services
- Home cleaning
- Education programs for your disease
- Visits to a nutritionist
There could be additional/other benefits for the plans in your area, but these are the most noteworthy ones we’ve seen.
Also, premiums for Advantage plans have seen an overall decline of around 20 percent since 2018. So, more benefits at a cheaper premium. This is why our Medicare insurance agents stress to Medicare beneficiaries the need to review all of their options.