May 31st, 2017 Medicare
Medicare Advantage Plans provide extra benefits in comparison to Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) and may also have lower out-of-pocket costs. The health insurance premium and out-of-pocket costs will be based on the chosen Medicare Advantage plan and are usually paid on montly basis. Other costs included are co-payments for doctors’ consultation and other healthcare services, and premiums for optional benefits, such as vision, hearing, dental and prescription drugs coverage .
The person has to continue to pay for Medicare Part B premium even if he is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Part B premiums must be paid directly to Medicare. The monthly cost may increase based on the patient’s annual household income from two years prior.
In addition to the Medicare Part B premium, Medicare Advantage plans often charge a monthly premium for coverage. $0 premium medicare advantage plans are also available.
Health insurance premium depend on the plan’s annual deductible. Few Medicare Advantage plans should meet an annual deductible before coinsurance comes into play. These deductibles vary by plan, with higher annual deductibles often indicate lower monthly plan premiums.
The person should compare and choose wisely between plans with higher monthly premium and plans with higher annual deductible in order to save his Medicare costs. For Example, if the person is ill, a plan with a higher monthly premium and a lower annual deductible may save his most money in long run. He should also consider the plan’s Maximum Out-of-Pocket (MOOP) amount. Once he reaches this spending limit, the Medicare Advantage plan covers 100% of the cost. So choosing a plan with a low MOOP limit reduces his Medicare costs.
Medicare Advantage co-payments vary extremely among plans. Few plans have co-payments for doctors’ visits, hospital stays, ambulance rides and emergency room visits. Co-payments are figured on a two or three tier system. For Example, a primary care physician’s visit may have lower co-payment (say $10 per visit) than a specialist’s visit (say $20 per visit). Emergency care co-payments are expensive.
Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage will have a formulary, which is a list of covered prescriptions. The formulary structures prescriptions into tiers, with generic ones located in the lowest tier. The lowest tiered ones are typically cheaper than the ones located in the highest tier.