Are you concerned about the future of Medicare Advantage Plans? If you are one of over 40 million Medicare recipients in the United States, you are right to keep track of changes to your benefits and additional programs that you might sign up for to enhance these benefits. As you probably already know, Medicare Advantage plan are private insurance policies that serve as a replace for Part A and Part B of original Medicare.
Note that supplements provide another way for beneficiaries to expand their benefits, but these are different than Advantage plans:
Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017 as a Replacement for Part A and Part B
As a replacement Medicare health insurance plan, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid has to approve each plan to ensure that it offers benefits that are as good as or better than original Medicare. Since private companies hope to profit from these plans, they try to extend better benefits to gain members from their competition, and many people find that Medicare Advantage, or MA, helps them afford medical services and gain entry to good doctors.
Many managed care plans, like PPOs and HMOs, also contain prescription coverage, but this is not a requirement. If you decide to purchase an MA without drug coverage, you need to buy another Part D plan as well. For many Medicare beneficiaries, drug coverage is a very important consideration.
Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017: What’s New?
You can still find Medicare Advantage plans for 2017 that do not require an additional premium, though these may get a bit less common, especially for PPOs. Costs have been rising, and some regulation changes cost money to comply with. Still, most premiums are usually very small. In addition, you may find that more services and prescriptions are covered because of health reform changes to Medicare.
Companies usually change these plans a little bit every year, and some new plans emerge as old ones leave a service area. In any case, it is always a good idea to compare Medicare Advantage plans before open enrollment to ensure that you still have the one that provides you with the most affordable access to good quality health care.