When it comes to acquiring Medicare, many older adults just assume that they don’t have options beyond Original Medicare. However, older adults actually have many different options, including Medicare Advantage plans. In any case, Medicare Advantage is often misunderstood by qualifying adults. Let’s take a look at the three most common misconceptions about Medicare Advantage.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about Medicare Advantage. Since Medicare Advantage plans are brokered through private providers, people assume that they will have to pay more. However, it really comes down to your individual needs and the kind of plan that you choose.
For example, let’s say that you need a prescription medication for a heart condition. If you only have Original Medicare, you won’t have prescription drug coverage, so you’ll need to pay full price for your medications. While prices vary, prescription medications are some of the most expensive medical costs that older adults encounter.
Alternatively, most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage. Thus, if you would be able to pay a fraction of the cost for your medication. You could also add a Part D plan to your Original Medicare, but this would require you to pay a completely separate premium.
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Not only is this a common misconception, but it’s also 100% false. There are several different kinds of Medicare Advantage plans, but all of them (by law) must include the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B. Thus, Medicare Advantage — at a minimum — must include the same coverage as Original Medicare.
Plus, most Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits that Original Medicare does not. As previously mentioned, most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage. Additionally, many plans include coverage for dental, vision, and hearing.
It is true that many people are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when they begin receiving their Social Security benefits. However, the application process for Medicare Advantage is no more complicated than the application process for Original Medicare. For Original Medicare, you will simply need to apply through the Social Security Administration. Alternatively, you can apply for Medicare Advantage through one of many private brokers like Time for 65.
Either application will require you to provide the exact same information. Additionally, you can sign up for Medicare Advantage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15th – December 7th) and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1st – March 31st).
Medicare Advantage is not as complicated or as expensive as many people believe. In fact, for many older adults, Medicare Advantage simply makes more sense. It all depends on your budget and your individual medical needs. Fortunately, we are currently in the middle of the MAOE period, so you can easily switch to a Medicare Advantage plan today!