Many people think they are done when they have chosen a plan to supplement their Medicare benefits. Health insurance options are changing every year and Medicare itself has changed of late. A coverage, which offers the most value for the best value this year, by the next year may be obsolete. The only way to know this is to regularly compare Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans.

One of these possibilities arises every year. You can join one of the Medicare Advantage plans from 15 October to 7 December. This is the only time of the year when most of these plans are open after the initial application phase, when you first qualify for Medicare. Medigap Insurance is available all through the year.

By itself, Medicare beneficiaries can bear hospital bills and ancillary medicals. A few understand that MA plans are actually considered part of Medicare – Part C – and Advantage plans receive government subsidies as well. They literally have $ 0 premiums In some cases, which means they will not cost more than you already pay for Part B premiums.

Medicare Advantage plans are unfortunately not widely available. Some parts of the country, especially urban centers, have lots of options. In rural areas, however, few such plans are available. All Advantage plans emanate from private health insurance companies, so they are not shared equally among all Medicare beneficiaries.

When Advantage Plans are available, they usually improve on Medicare coverage. Most offer benefits in dental treatments, goggles and hearing aids. Many treatments, but not all, are usually covered as well. An estimated 11.7 million participants have replaced Medicare Advantage plans with Medicare coverage, and 9 million are supplementing Medicare with Medigap insurance plan.

It’s like shopping for larger purchases. The best way to save premiumĀ  is to compare different Medicare Advantage plans for different insurers.

Advantage plans must comply with Medicare rules. Also, the 2019 Humana Medicare Advantage plans are now rated on a five-star scale. Highest rated plans can receive more federal grants, which should keep premiums low. Not many plans earn five stars. More companies are likely to start harder to compete for the additional revenue.

Since these plans are offered by private companies, you will find a large variation in the rules. Whether individual plans cover your medicine and your doctor are some of the most important considerations.

Not every plan cover all prescription drugs. These plans also have their own network of hospitals and doctors that have negotiated to keep charges down. Most Advantage plans do not cover treatment outside their network.

If it is too much of a challenge to compare different coverage options, it’s pretty easy to get help without paying for it. Independent health insurance companies do not work for a specific insurance company. They have contracts with various insurers to offer their plans. These brokers can help you compare coverage and costs of different companies, and they can simplify and shorten your search for Medicare Supplement insurance.