With this the annual enrollment period when seniors can change Medicare Advantage Plans and prescription drug plans, insurance salespeople are out in droves. If you have an insurance adviser who is a sales person, look for one who is instead interested in helping you find the most cost effective way to manage your health care. There are lots of good ones out there. When you are presented the facts, you need to make up your mind, but be sure you have all the facts before making a decision.
There is a huge difference between Advantage Plans and supplement plans. On the surface it may seem the monthly premium for a supplement plan is expensive when weighed against an Advantage plan that has no monthly premium at all and includes a prescription drug plan. This might be the right solution for you, but it also may cost you a lot out of pocket. With an Advantage plan you are limited to the network providers who accept the plan; with a supplement plan you can go to any doctor who accepts Medicare payment. All Advantage plans have maximum out of pocket annual costs. It will vary with the plan from about $2500 up to as much as $6700. There is normally a copayment when you go to the doctor and then the coverage of benefits depends on the plan. When the neighbor talks about how his heart attack was totally covered by the Advantage plan, it will normally be because he had reached the annual out of pocket expense level already.
Supplement plans are medically underwritten which means an insurance company can refuse the policy application if the health history includes serious issues. There are times of guaranteed acceptance which means you cannot be refused coverage. One circumstance is if your Advantage plan goes out of the market; another time in Oregon is the month of your birthday when you can change from one supplement plan to another of equal or lessor coverage. Supplement plans also come with varying benefits; the most popular covers deductibles for Medicare part A and Part B but there are versions available with lessor coverage and of course, lessor premiums.
Talk with someone who is knowledgeable and certified in the industry, and then choose the solution that works best for you.
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