Are you BUYING or RENTING your Medicare plan? When you BUY a Medicare plan you can keep it as long as you want. But when you RENT a plan, specifically a MEDICARE ADVANTAGE plan, you only have it until the end of the calendar year.
Which is better? Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage?
Even if your Advantage plan is offered for the following year, it may not look like what you have now. Doctors you see now may not be in network next year. That clinic where you are being treated for cancer might not be on the approved list for next year. For sure, the deductible you have satisfied in part or completely, will start all over again in January.
Next years copay’s and OOP (out of pocket) may be higher, in some cases perhaps $500 or more.
And Don’t Overlook the Drug Plan.
Most Medicare Advantage plans have a drug plan baked into the policy. You don’t get to pick the level of coverage you need. Instead you are given an “off the rack” drug plan that may or may not fit your needs. Your drug copay for next year may be higher, or in some cases, the medication that is covered this year may not be next year.
Pharmacy networks change as well.
The pharmacy you use now may not participate in your plan for next year. If so, you will either want to change pharmacy’s or pay more for your meds.
Are You an Owner or a Renter?
So do you want to OWN your Medicare plan or would you prefer to RENT it from year to year and hope you don’t get evicted?
Providers can join or leave a plan’s provider network anytime during the year. Your plan can also change the providers in the network anytime during the year. If this happens, you may need to choose a new provider.
Don’t All Doctors Accept Medicare Advantage Plans?
Do all doctors take Medicare Advantage plan? What are some of the pitfalls of Advantage plans?
How Well Do You Understand the Plan You Rented?
Fully 1 out of 4 Medicare beneficiaries do not understand their coverage 29% of U.S. adults aged 65 or older do not fully understand their Medicare Advantage plans, and 23% do not fully understand their Medicare Supplement plans.
Doctors are the most (29%), and telemarketers the least (0%) trusted sources of information on Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans.
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