Probably one of the hardest things you have to do as a Medicare beneficiary is determine if it makes sense for you to be in a Medicare Advantage program or not. When you have Medicare Part A and Part B you really have one decision to make. You need to decide whether you should have a Medicare supplement and a Part D drug plan along with your Medicare Part A and Part B, or do you go the route of Medicare Advantage otherwise known as Medicare Part C.
Medicare Advantage is NOT a Medicare Supplement
You can’t have both so a decision needs to be made on which direction to go. They actually work opposite of each other so there is not much similarity between them at all. For example:
- Medicare Advantage has little or NO premium
- Medicare Supplements have a substantial monthly premium
- Medicare Advantage uses a network of doctors and hospitals
- Medicare Supplements work anywhere Medicare is accepted
- Medicare Advantage costs every time you use it
- Medicare Supplement Plan F has no cost to use it
- Medicare Advantage typically includes Medicare Part D drug covergae
- Medicare Supplements no longer include Medicare Part D drug coverage
To help you decide ask yourself these questions:
- How often do I go to the doctor or hospital?
- Do I see a bunch of doctors/specialist or am I attached to my current doctor
- Do I want to save money with the risk of potentially saving more
If you answered “Once or Twice a Year” to number 1 then Medicare Advantage could be right for you. If you answered “No” to number two then Medicare Advantage could be right for you, and finally, if you answered “Yes” to number three then Medicare Advantage could be right for you. Just make sure you check the network for the Medicare Advantage Plan in 2012 that you are considering and make sure your doctor is accepting it.