- Do I retain my rights to Medicare Part A & B?
The reason you want to ask this question is that although you have your rights to Medicare Part A and B, your choices about where to take advantage of them may be limited. For example, most Medicare Advantage plans have a network that you need to use to get your benefits; if you go out of the network, you can pay a much higher proportion of the bill, or not covered at all, unless it’s one emergency situation.
- Can I visit the same doctor or hospital?
Just as in the question above, if your favorite doctor or hospital is not on the Medicare Advantage Network, then you need to make a choice as to whether the plan is worth it or not. On the other hand, a Medicare supplement plan along with Original Medicare will not limit you to a network as long as the doctor or institution accepts Medicare then they will also accept your Medicare supplement.
- Is there a co-payment – and if so, how much?
Currently, the 2019 Medicare Supplement plans do not have a co pay option, but some of the plans require you to take care of your Part B deductible. Depending on your plan, this is a good option, depending on your monthly premium. There are some supplementary plans that take care of your part A & B deductible for you.
Medicare Advantage programs typically have a co-payment, deductible, and a maximum of ancillary costs that you are responsible for each year. Be careful, these plans also change every year, so your co-payments and deductibles could rise from year to year.
- Is there a maximum out-of-pocket?
Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum payout, which is the part you need to pay beyond your deductibles and coinsurance. Medicare supplement plans usually have a deductible you must take if there is one and that is when you fulfill your deductible, the plan takes care of the rest.
- What happens if I travel to Florida or outside my usual environment?
With Medicare supplement plans, the only requirement is that the provider accepts Medicare, then your benefits will take care of the rest until the limit of your plan. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you may only be covered in emergencies, or if there is coverage, you are usually exposed to much more of the costs incurred. Make sure you look at your summary of plan performance to see how high your financial risk is.
- Does it contain recipes, Glasses, Dentures?
Medicare supplement plans do not cover glasses or dentures, you need to get a separate policy for these covers. Medicare advantage programs are not expected to provide all of these benefits, but you can find some plans that include some of these benefits in your plan.
There are some Medicare Advantage plans that have prescription coverage included, but the included prescription plan may not be the best option for you. Make sure you have reviewed all options before choosing a plan.