Should I buy Medicare Supplement Insurance or a Medicare Advantage Plan?
There are several options for you to carefully consider when choosing which Medicare plan is right for you. The Advantage and Complete plans have co pay's and although they are either a low premium or zero premium and include prescription medication coverage, they are typically restricted to “in network services” like an HMO. Even though the Advantage and Complete plan premiums are less money, typically they have an out of pocket maximum of $5,900 per year on major medical. These policies should be cause for concern. When signing up for the Advantage or Complete plan you are basically giving up Medicare entirely and placing your coverage with an insurance company that you choose. Insurance companies are now in control of managing your health care and can approve or deny doctor requested treatments, therapies, procedures and medically necessary services. Out of network services are usually not paid or extremely limited. Extreme caution is the word of the day when choosing these plans as your doctor may be in the plan today, however, may not be in the plan at a time when you may need them the most. Consider what can happen if you are traveling or have a second home “out of network”?
Why You Should Have a SUPPLEMENT PLAN over an AVANTAGE PLAN
- You and YOUR Doctor stay in control in Managing your care, not the Insurance Company
- You are not limited to a list of Doctors in the Network, You can go anywhere.
- With an Advantage plan you give up the management of your care to an Insurance Company
With a Medicare supplement plan, you and your doctor are in control of managing your health care. After you pay your premium you do not pay anything more. For example, the affordable plan "F" does not have copays, deductibles, co-insurance or an out of pocket maximum. A supplement does not have a network or a list of “approved” doctors to choose from. This means that you may go to any doctor, hospital, medical facility or treatment center without asking for approval and avail yourself to the best health care providers anywhere and "NOT “be required to pay more for services that are medically necessary. The only requirement is that the provider accepts Medicare assignment. With a supplement plan your provider(s) file claims on your behalf.
The Supplement plans are a higher premium and Part "D" is not included. A Part "D" drug card may cost you as little as $20.00 a month.
So the question is, do you want your health care managed by an insurance company, or do you want your health care to be managed by you and your doctor(s)? Do you want to go to Moffitt Cancer Research Center (Tampa) if you are diagnosed with internal cancer or would you prefer not to have that choice? Yes, you will pay more for the better choice. But what’s it worth to you for you and your doctor to keep control of your health care rather than turning it over to an insurance company that’s more interested in THEIR bottom line rather than the quality of YOUR health care?
When choosing a plan that you feel is right, it may be wise to consult with our resident agent Bruce Greenstein to compare benefits and costs to determine how you want to be covered.
You can CLICK HERE to be contacted by Mr. Greenstein. Or call him at 239-425-9707