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medicare advantage
Old 11-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
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medicare advantage

If you don't want to pay any additional premiums for a medicare supplement plan, it seems that the Medicare Advantage plans are considerably better than having just basic medicare Y/N/comment ?
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Here are a couple of recent threads on Medicare Advantage and Supplemental plans you might find interesting

Almost 65 and pondering medicare supplement/advantage policies

Selecting Medicare Options
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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Depends on how much weight you place on the ability to select your own doctors and hospitals. Some of these plans are good, but some are questionable. I'd do some serious research before making a decision.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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If you don't want to pay any additional premiums for a medicare supplement plan, it seems that the Medicare Advantage plans are considerably better than having just basic medicare Y/N/comment ?
Based on your criteria, yes a Medicare Advantage plan would fill the bill. An advantage plan must be as good and cover everything that Medicare covers. Advantage plans can offer more because Medicare pays those insurance companies a set number of dollars each year to care for that enrolee and Medicare gets that enrolee off the books. I don't like paying premiums for something I may never use so I opt for the Advantage plan.

I pay zero premium (I still have to pay my Medicare premium) and I always look for the maximum out of pocket cost the plan can charge. I changed to Blue Cross/Blue Shield Advantage this year because their maximum out of pocket is $4750 compared to my old plan which went to $5900. You can go to medicare.gov and compare advantage plans in your area.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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My (disabled) son has been on Medicare over five years. During that time, we've gone through Traditional Medicare (with a Medigap policy), along with two different Medicare Advantage providers (due to change in benefits, as they all do).

For me/us, the Advantage programs worked out better in cost/services than Traditional Medicare.

However, depending on the state you reside in, different Advantage providers have different benefits/costs. You have to do your homework to investigate what is best for your indivudal needs, and see if they will provide better benefits than Traditional Medicare.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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If you switch from straight medicare to medicare advantage, can you go back to the medicare during another enrollment period.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
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Yes, but you may not be able to purchase a medigap policy.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
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If you switch from straight medicare to medicare advantage, can you go back to the medicare during another enrollment period.
This issue is discussed in some detail in the threads linked by Moderator MichaelB in post #2
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:50 PM   #9
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If you switch from straight medicare to medicare advantage, can you go back to the medicare during another enrollment period.
If by "straight Medicare" you mean no supplement involved, you are correct. Once you have the supplement, you can still switch to an Advantage plan, but you can't just go back to a supplemental plan unless an insurance company agrees to insure you. This is where age and preexisting conditions come into play. I should know, I'm in that category.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:13 PM   #10
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Depends on how much weight you place on the ability to select your own doctors and hospitals. Some of these plans are good, but some are questionable. I'd do some serious research before making a decision.
In a tight spot this ability to choose where and when can be crucial. This past summer DH had an issue that became seriously worse when the primary care doctor (gatekeeper in advangage plans) took too long to refer him to a specialist. Because he has traditional medicare we were able to go directly to a specialist of our choosing. This ability to bypass the primary care doctor kept him - at the least - out of the hospital.
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