Are Medicare Advantage Plans a Better Choice?

One of the biggest advantages that Medicare Advantage plans have is their low premium. The Federal Government continues to support these plans and has a new strategy that makes some more attractive. They are now rated on a five star scale and a high rating means more federal funds. This in turn means that the premiums can be low because the insurance company receives more federal funding for the plan.

In 2012, Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to be cheaper. A four percent cost cut is forecast at an average of $ 32 per month. This is quite remarkable, considering that some of these policies are already $ 0 more than the price of Medicare Part B charges.

In 2012, Medicare Part B premiums will only rise by $ 3.50 for the majority of beneficiaries. This is the first time in three years that Medicare beneficiaries have raised these premiums.

There will be some savings for beneficiaries who spend enough deductibles to meet the Part B deductible. The deductible of $ 162 will be reduced to $ 140 in 2012. Beneficiaries do not have to pay the deductible before a long list of preventive health care is covered. These benefits are age-specific, so a longer life actually entitles you to better health care.

Medicare Advantage plans are expected to see growth in membership

Only about 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries currently receive benefits through any of the Medicare Advantage Plans. However, private insurance companies expect an increase in subscriber numbers in 2012 due to the decline in premiums.

The other big selling point of Advantage plan is low cost together with extended coverage. The plans are required to provide all traditional Medicare benefits by law, but most plans add extra value. They usually pay for dental services, assist with hearing aids and provide coverage for the visual aid.

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There is another reason to choose an Advantage Plan. It offers guaranteed acceptance for all pre-existing health conditions except end-stage kidney disease.

These benefits make it hard to understand why more Medicare beneficiaries are not exploring this option. For the same price they are already paying, it could give them additional coverage.

In terms of availability, Medicare Advantage plans vary. Some areas in the country, such as urban environments, may have around two dozen of MA plans, though some Advantage Plans are not available in some parts of the country. If you are lucky enough to have multiple options at your place of residence, you should compare both cost and coverage.

MA plans come from private insurance companies that set their own rules in the area that Medicare permits. To make sure you get value for your money, read how the coverage is provided. For example, Advantage plans have set up their own networks of providers and do not pay for non-emergency care provided by people outside of this network. This makes it important to check the list of doctors and see if your doctor is considered an in-network.