Medicare Advantage Plans - are they the bomb? or not so much?
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer.
My wonderful colleague, Caryn, had a timely reminder for those on or heading onto Medicare such as the newly eligible. The commercials right now, since it is the annual "renewal" period, are rampant with Medicare Advantage plans, which are different from both the standard / traditional Medicare and the coveted Medicare Supplement plans.
Advantage Plans are the "Part C" option, while Parts A and B are the traditional Medicare coverage. Part D is an optional (but usually vital) prescription drug plan.
Well, I'll just send you to see for yourself.
For the record, and for full disclosure, my family member is on traditional Medicare WITH both a Supplement Plan (costs extra) to cover co-pays and deductibles and with which she can go anywhere in the country that Medicare accepting providers are, such as to my sister's in Minnesota. I understand you can do that with traditional Medicare alone but NOT necessarily without additional cost when on an Advantage plan. We also sought this higher coverage (albeit more expensive) Supplement option as soon as she moved here 10 years ago. We were fortunate that the underwriting did not prevent, since she was well past 65 or initial Part B eligibility. I understand that waiting like that can often prevent being able to secure a Supplement Plan (aka Medigap plan).
It is my understanding (and I do not practice Medicare, so take this with a grain and do your due diligence) that it is only when you are in that original 6 months of Medicare eligibility that you can grab a Supp and it is not underwritten. I.e. you can't be 'rejected' as too 'unhealthy'. ("When someone first turns 65 or enrolls in Part B, they can get a Medigap plan without answering health questions.")