When I first started Medicare, I was told to stay far away from Advantage plans. Some of my friends switched to Advantage plans last year and now I’m curious. Why would anyone choose an Advantage plan?
-Cecil (West Palm Beach, FL)
When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, people are either all for them or all against them. These plans have been stigmatized for so long, so it is understandable that many have strong opinions about them. In all reality, there are several reasons why someone would choose a Medicare Advantage plan; Let’s look at some of the more common reasons:
- Medicare Advantage plans are private Medicare health plans that operate off a network to provide hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverage under one plan. The idea of having bundled coverage is one reason why someone may choose this type of plan, giving them a “one stop shop” for all their health insurance needs.
- Plan premiums start out at $0 per month, and some Advantage plans even offer a benefit that lowers your Part B premium. Imagine someone on a fixed income shopping for insurance- would they rather pay hundreds each month, or have a lower monthly premium?
- Medicare Advantage plans usually offer additional benefits not covered by Medicare like routine dental, vision, and hearing. These additional benefits may be included at no additional cost, or the plan may have an option to add it on as an optional supplemental benefit for an extra premium.
As you see, there are many reasons why someone may choose an Advantage plan, but they are not for everyone. Thank you for taking the time to write us Cecil!
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I have yet to find a Medicare Advantage plan in my area that I qualify for that has a reasonable deductible. Your situation may be different, but I see little benefit in the plans I was offered if I actually need medical care. In addition, some regular Medicare supplements expect you to stay on their plan for years and not switch off an advantage plan to them when your health status deteriorates. Again this is what I was told, and not always applicable to all.