New medicare advantage plans for 2019?

Hello, seniors! Are you ready to upgrade your health plan without breaking the bank? Do you want to understand what Medicare Advantage is all about? Buckle up because we’re going on a ride!

What are Medicare Advantage plans?

Let’s start with the basics. You probably know that original Medicare has two parts: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). However, these bare-bones coverage packages leave some gaps in your healthcare. This is where Medicare Advantage plans come in.

Think of them as an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll get medical and hospital coverage plus prescription drug coverage, vision, dental care, hearing aids, even fitness programs!

And if it sounds too good to be true- hold on I’m not done yet. Some MA plans have lower premiums than traditional private plans would give but still provide more benefits for members!

The changes:

Okay great so now we’ve got how valuable these can be out of the way let’s talk turkey.

Every year starting from October 15th through December 7th (the fancy peeps call this “Open Enrollment”) – this glorious opportunity presents itself for people who have already enrolled in a particular plan but may want something different or better.

Thankfully there were some beneficial updates that emerged from last season’s exploration:

  1. Telehealth benefits
  2. Improved chronic disease management programs
  3. Prescription cost planning

But wait there’s more…

OTC Benefits:

That right ladies and germs– new over-the-counter benefit rulings will apply which means sellers such as Walmart and Walgreens allow products such as band-aids/cough syrup/other preventative ointments/drugs/supplies/etc at no personal cost!

### Ride Home Services:

Catching a ride home after a doctor’s appointment just got comped! Medicre Advantage Plans across different insurance bearers now have transportation refunds that could potentially provide free alternatives to personal driving.

Doctor-On-Demand

No longer do you need to brave the office or wait via virtual queues for hours prior to a medical emergency solving itself- various MA providers allow minimal costs for telehealth services. Doctor on demand specializes in this particular feature and it is offered between $0-$12 per call depending on your plan!

What are my choices?

We’re glad you asked, curious senior friend. You’ve come to the right place – Let’s break it down!!

  1. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  2. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  3. Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans
  4. Special Needs Plan(SNP)

From these options certain standouts can be seen which market themselves as functional at lower prices:

Insurance Carrier Average Monthly Premium Cost
Blue Cross And Blue Shield “Give Us a Call”
Humana $30
Molina Healthcare Zero Dollars

HMOs

If you are happy with staying within one specific network of doctors and hospitals – an HMO may suit your needs best! With assigned primary care physicians determining what other medical requirements may deem necessary according to their professional opinion.

These ironclad relationships mean that if mediation/diagnostics/therapy/a specialty referral/fan club admittance…whatever health attention relates.. must go through them first and then get transferred further forward when needed!

One little tip though – ensure there is adequate coverage outside of said network areas because surprises on holiday/vacation will never play out well…

PPOs

On the opposite end we have Organizations who present plenty flexibility like PPOs who encourage clients acquiring treatments from a range of providers to maximize options- and in return not restricting which provider is covered.

Though this doesn’t result in lower premiums it does at least allow for choices..

PFFS Plans

Lastly, I would advise looking into the option called Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. Essentially these offer similar coverage range as HMO’s but don’t require network referrals among physicians or ‘traditional’ policies but also give flexibility to its users.

It’s like choosing your own adventure book, except it’s a health care plan!

What are the Pros and Cons?

With every decision there come different positives/negatives that need weighing out:

Advantage Plan Type Pros Cons
HMO Cheap Premiums Limited Geographic Coverage
Minimal Out-Of-Pocket Costs
—————————————————————————————————–
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Low Deductibles




                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Selection Limitations On Providers For Specific Problems                                                      
                                                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

       Lab Work/Tests Must Be Processed Within Network

Now flip that sheet over ’cause here comes some juicy PPO talk –

### PROS:

  • Plenty of Flexibility
  • No requirement for referral treatment between specialized therapies

### CONS:

  • Higher Copays/Deductible frequency increases than alternatives.

Mmmmmm Okay imagine you’re really full from all that information right now….of course….. Let’s switch gears real quick:

Can we stop pretending America has any business with their Healthcare policies? Out of pocket expenses along with relative cost budgets have led to employers being forced into stinginess where promising new hires high salaries means having exponential health insurance plans– fat chance!

Okay back on track

Wrapping It All Up:

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this lucrative adventure! By now you should understand what Medicare Advantage can do for you and why it is different from traditional plans.

And for options lets recap:

  • HMO – limited but cheap.
  • PPO – manageable enough, no referrals required.
  • PFFS Plans – Leaves plenty more freedom open.

Remember folks, the best thing about Medicare Advantage plans revisions this year is that these new benefits will apply to every plan — not just some. So next time old Uncle Walter gives a little cough in church? Never fear as your health rebate bearers approach; him being cured won’t cost an arm and leg!

Disclaimer

It’s worth noting though, these policies are continually updated based on market histories/preferences/and consumer needs fluctuating: be sure to follow-up with your dedicated insurance agent determine if any further locations will suit better or make necessary changes smoothless.

Thanks For Stopping by The Fun Side Of Data Dumping!

I truly hope my dorkiness assisted with making certain key takeaways simpler to recall– anything to procrastinate training myself physically.

So let’s raise our coffee mugs (decaf because after 9pm carbs kills ya know…) cheers’ ing over lives well insured thus giving us permission to retire younger than we know!

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