Learn About Medicare Advantage Plans
Healthcare coverage becomes more important as we age. Millions of Americans take advantage of the federally funded healthcare plans that fall under Medicare. The majority of permanent legal United States residents that are 65 or older enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B (often referred to as Original Medicare) when eligible.
Medicare Advantage (or Medicare Part C) are plans that are offered through private insurance companies for coverage of additional healthcare benefits that may include dental and vision care, prescription drugs, and other supplemental items.
Medigap, or Medicare Supplement, plans help to pay out-of-pocket expenses such as copays, coinsurance expenses, and deductibles.
Prescription Drug Plans(referred to as Medicare Part D) are approved by Medicare and offered by private insurace companies. They cover prescribed prescription drugs and have an approved list of drugs called a formulary.
Medicare Part A
In general, Part A covers:
- Inpatient care in a hospital
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Nursing home care (inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility that’s not custodial or long-term care)
- Hospice care
- Home health care
Medicare Part B
Part B covers things like:
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment (DME)
- Mental health
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
Medicare Part D
Part D covers:
- A List of covered Prescription drugs(called a formulary)
- Including Brand Name Drugs and Generic Drugs
The following serves to answer some of the most asked questions about Medicare.
When should I start looking at my Medicare options?
Research for Medicare plans should begin 3-6 months before either your 65th birthday or leaving employer coverage if you are older than 65. You can actually apply for Medicare 90 days before you are eligible, or the first day of your birth month. If your birthday is on the first of the month, you are then eligible the first of the month prior.
How much will my Part B cost?
Medicare Part B premiums can vary and are primarily calculated based on your income. Click here to learn more.
Can I apply online for Medicare?
Medicare can be applied for online. Click here for complete information.
What is the Part D late enrollment penalty?
Late enrollment penalties are typically 1% of the national average of a drug plan, multiplied by the number of months you have not been enrolled in one. Click here to learn more.
Do I have to sign up for Medicare Part B if I choose a supplement or Medicare Advantage plan?
Yes. To enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare supplement, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Do I have to pay my Medicare Part B premium if I choose a Medicare Advantage plan?
Yes. Medicare Part B premium must be paid, even if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan.
Does Medicare cover preventative dental?
Medicare does not cover preventative dental services. However, it may be included in some Medicare Advantage plans as an additional benefit.
Does Medicare cover my prescription eyewear?
Medicare does not cover prescription eyewear. However, some Medicare Advantage plans will cover eyewear as an additional plan benefit.