Medicare Advantage Plans May Be the Best Deal for Seniors on a Fixed Income
When you’re on a fixed income, it can be difficult to know which Medicare Advantage plans are right for you. The good news is there are many affordable plans out there that provide the coverage your family needs while also keeping your costs under control.
Some could cost you more than others because they offer extra benefits or have higher deductibles. You can find a high-quality plan for a lower premium and lower deductible if you shop around for different plans. Even so, finding the best Medicare plan that’s within your budget can still be challenging.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to find the best Medicare Advantage plan for seniors on a fixed income and why it is the best deal. Let’s first take a look at how to apply for Medicare.
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How to Apply for Medicare?
Medicare Advantage plans differ from state to state. Medicare Texas enrollments have increased by 228% in the last decade, from 2010 to 2020. This is due to the several benefits that come with the enrollment. To qualify for Medicare, you have to be sixty-five (65) years old or nearing that age limit. The only exception to age is if you have any form of disability.
In your application process, you will be required to produce certain important documents. These documents include but are not limited to:
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Proof of citizenship
- Green card
- Your tax information
- Any other identification as needed
Know What You’re Looking For in a Medicare Advantage Plan
Before you pick a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. This will make it easier to find the best plan for your needs and budget. When you do your research, be sure to consider a few things.
- How many doctors and hospitals does your chosen plan offer coverage for?
- How much does your chosen plan cost?
- How much does it cost to get a silver plan?
- How much does it cost to get a gold plan?
- How much does it cost to get a bare-bone plan?
- What is the plan’s annual deductible?
- What is the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum?
- What are the plan’s co-pays and limits on what you can be charged for a doctor’s visit or prescription?
Research the Different Medicare Advantage Plans Available
Before you start shopping for Medicare Advantage plans, you should do some research to familiarize yourself with the different options available. You can do this by going online to Medicare’s website or by visiting your local Medicare center.
When you head to Medicare’s website, you can search by state, zip code, and plan type to see what plans are offered in your area. If you’re not able to find the right plan for your situation, you can also call the center and ask what’s available in your area.
Once you know what plans are available in your area, start comparing and contrasting to find the best one for you and your family.
- Cost – How much does the Medicare Advantage plan cost? What is the premium? What is the deductible? What is the plan’s cost for a silver plan? The Medicare Advantage plan in Texas costs $34 monthly on average. While the Medicare part D plan costs $52 monthly.
- Benefits – What are the plan’s benefits? Look at each plan’s full benefits package to see if it covers the benefits your family needs.
- Networks – What is the plan’s network? As a senior citizen, you might have a preferred network of hospitals and doctors. Look at each plan’s network to see if it includes the doctors and hospitals you need.
- Options – What are the plan’s options? What are the plan’s contracted discounts? What are the plan’s Medicare Savings options?
Discounts and Price Matching
Medicare Advantage plans often offer discounts and price-matching options. These benefits will allow you to save even more money on your premiums. Take advantage of these services to get the best value for your money.
A good way to do this is by looking at each plan’s cost for a silver plan. Once you have this information, call each plan’s customer service department and ask them if they offer any additional discounts they aren’t advertising. Each plan may offer a different discount, so make sure you ask specifically for your discounted amount.
If a plan’s customer service representative says they don’t have any additional discounts they aren’t offering, ask if they have price matching or tiered program options.
Understand the Diverse Benefits Provided by Each Plan
When you’re comparing the best Medicare Advantage plans, understanding how each plan’s benefits compare to one another will allow you to make an informed decision.
When you understand the benefits, you can get a better idea of where your money is going. This can help you ensure you’re getting the coverage your family needs at the best price possible.
Benefits to Ensure
Listed below are some benefits to look out for when choosing your Medicare Advantage plan.
- Medigap Coverage – Medigap coverage is a type of add-on that’s added to your Medicare Advantage plan. This means you don’t have to pay the full cost of Medigap coverage. Once you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, you can just add a Medigap rider to your plan.
- Enhanced Medicare Protection – Enhanced Medicare Protection is a program that protects high-risk seniors by giving them additional coverage. Enhanced Medicare Protection is optional, so some seniors choose to take it while others don’t.
- Cost-Controlled Care – With a Medicare Advantage plan, you can opt to receive your care in a cost-controlled setting. This can help you save money if you prefer receiving care in a less expensive location.
- Coverage For Special Needs Children – Some Medicare Advantage plans also cover children with disabilities or special needs. This can help reduce the out-of-pocket costs for these children, who may otherwise be on their own with no coverage.
- Dental Coverage – Some plans cover dental benefits. This can help make dental care more affordable for seniors.
- Hospital Coverage – Some plans cover 100% of the cost for two or three hospital stays. This can help reduce the costs of hospital expenses for seniors who may otherwise be financially strained.
Medicare Advantage plans provide supplemental health coverage for seniors who don’t have traditional Medicare. This coverage can help you get your family’s care at a lower cost.
When you know how to find the best Medicare Advantage plan for seniors on a fixed income, you can get the care your family’s needs without emptying your savings account.