Co-pays, deductibles, etc. If you click on a plan's name, you will be able to see the details of the plan. Look to see what you will have to pay for a doctor visit or a stay in the hospital. Look for the annual out-of-pocket limit. This is the most you would have to pay out of your own pocket in a year if you had some kind of catastrophic medical expense. If it is more than you think you can afford, you might be better off paying a slightly higher premium to get a lower out-of-pocket limit.
List of participating doctors and hospitals. With very few exceptions, Medicare Advantage plans have provider networks. If you do not use a hospital or doctor in the plan's network, it will either pay nothing or very little. If you click on a plan's name and scroll down on the resulting page, you can see how many doctors take part in the plan. You can also click on a link that will take you to the plan's website so you can look to see whether your doctors and hospital take part. You can also ask your favorite doctors what Advantage plans they take part in and which ones they recommend.
Dental and vision coverage. Many Advantage plans come with some dental and vision coverage. On the listing, you will see small circles that have a D or V in them if they have this kind of coverage. You can click on the plan name, then on the "Health Plan Benefits Tab," then on the link that says, "View More Detailed Cost & Benefit Information." There you will see the details of dental and vision coverage.
Coverage while traveling. Many plans will only pay for emergency care when you are away from home. If you divide your time between two homes or pay extended visits to your adult children, this could pose a problem if you need something routine such as a lab test. A few plans have national networks you can use, but you can't see this information on Medicare.gov. You will have to call the plan directly to ask about it. The plan's listing on Medicare.gov has numbers for you to call.
Medigap plans can turn you down or charge you more for pre-existing conditions at certain times In every state, you have a guaranteed right to buy a Medigap policy for six months starting the first day of the month you are at least 65 and enrolled in Part B. During this grace period, the insurance company is not allowed to turn you down or charge you more because you have a pre-existing condition. This is called "guaranteed issue."
Brian Rodgers wrote: Thanks for posting the links I'l peruse the Consumers reports pages. The truth is I don't know what Medicare Advantage is so I better start reading.
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone wrote:So what if you don't pay for any supplement? I am covered by the VA but am planning for my husbands medical.
If you just get medicare with no supplemental insurance - then what? Is there anyone that does this?
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