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Your Medicare Advantage is ending

If you choose not to get another Medicare plan, you will will go back to Original Medicare Parts A & B.

If you do nothing, you’ll be responsible to pay the 20% and other deductibles and copays that Medicare won’t pay.  You can get a new Medicare Advantage Company or a Medicare Supplement (sometimes called Medigap) so you won’t have any gap in coverage if you apply for coverage immediately.

If your medications were being covered by the your Medicare Advantage plan, you will automatically default to a stand alone Part D plan. The drug copays, deductible and drug formulary may be different, but it should be very similar.  You should make sure that the default plan is the best plan to cover your drugs.  If it’s not, you can chose a different drug plan to go along with a Medicare Supplement.   It may even be better than what you’ve had.   Even if you don’t do anything, you’ll at least have RX coverage through and you won’t be without prescription coverage.

You have 3 choices if  your Medicare Advantage is ending

Change to another Medicare Advantage plan  Most people will likely look for another Medicare Advantage plan.  If this is what you want to do, make sure you check the physicians and hospitals the plan has in their network. If you’re not willing to change doctors because you want an HMO or pay a higher copays to see an out of network provider on a PPO, you need to check the list of doctors and hospitals.  You’ll still have copays to see the doctor, be responsible to pay 20% for most outpatient services, and pay several hundred dollars per day in the hospital. These out of pocket expenses stop once you reach the out of pocket maximum (about $3,000-$10,000).

Change to a Medicare Supplement and choose a drug plan (Medigap policy) If you were turned down in the past for a Medicare Supplement, take advantage of this guaranteed issue opportunity and get one now.   Many of you may have wanted to purchase a Medicare Supplement but could never pass the health questions.  This is your chance to get into a Supplement with no health questions asked.  You may be surprised to find out that a Medicare Supplement won’t cost much more than a Medicare Advantage plan.  If your tired of paying copays for things like office visits, hospital stays, MRI’s, physical therapy then you may want to check out a supplement.

If your in good health, consider the High Deductible F (HDF) Medicare Supplement. Men can get an HDF Medicare Supplement for a little as $35 and women $30 per month. If you choose this option, your maximum out of pocket won’t be any more than $2,240 in 2018  for the entire calendar year.

Do Nothing Medicare will assign you a Part D drug plan if it was included in your Medicare Advantage plan. If you don’t pick up other medical and hospital coverage, you could be at risk of incurring thousands of dollars in unplanned medical bills. Consider this…no person knows if or when they are struck with a condition that requires intense medical treatment. If for example you were diagnosed with Cancer or need kidney dialysis, you will owe thousands every month and it doesn’t cap out with a maximum. You’ll owe 20% for as long as you get those services.  You could fall and break a hip-you don’t plan it, it just happens.  Don’t take risks by not having something to protect you.  For under $50 a month you can get a plan that will allow you to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare and your out of pocket expenses are limited to $2,000.

Should you look for another Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement (Medigap plan)?

Now that you know, it’s all about choosing the right coverage.  You can sign up for new coverage before your Medicare Advantage plan ends. You can now join another Medicare Advantage HMO/PPO, or elect to have a Medicare Supplement with no health questions asked! Your acceptance is guaranteed and you can’t be turned down.  You will only have this guaranteed issue right to another plan for a few months.  If you don’t make a choice by then, you’ll have to wait until January 1, of the following year to start another Medicare Advantage plan and you may not pass the health questions to purchase a Medicare Supplement.  This is your opportunity to get the plan you really want so don’t let time run out.

You can read about the REAL differences between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements in a detailed comparison of the two kinds of Medicare plans.  The biggest difference that you are likely familiar with is choosing your doctors and hospitals. If you decide the get a Medicare Supplement, you won’t have worry about checking to see if the doctor or hospital is on the list. As long as the doctor accepts Medicare, you can use that physician. You can also visit your doctors without a referral.

Medicare Advantage plans offer low or no monthly premiums.  It’s a great deal if you don’t use a lot of medicare services like hospitalizations, therapies or frequent trips to the Emergency Room.  On the flip side you will pay a significant amount of money if you do use those types of services.

If you require a lot of medical care, you should give heavy consideration to purchasing a Medigap or sometimes called Medicare Supplement. They mean the same thing but are referred to by different names.

There are certain limitations for people under age 65 depending on the state you live in.  Unfortunately you may not have an option to purchase a Medicare Supplement if you’re not at least 65 years old. You can choose any Medicare Advantage plan offered in the county that you live in but you may have to wait until your 65 for a Medicare Supplement. When you turn 65, you’ll have the right to purchase a Supplement without answering any health questions.

 

 

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