More and more, seniors are looking to alternatives to traditional Medicare. One of these alternatives is Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) is an alternative to traditional Medicare which has grown substantially in popularity in recent years. The basic premise of Medicare Advantage is that it allows seniors to obtain Medicare coverage through private insurers. These private insurers offer extra coverage and benefits in their Advantage plans that aren’t found in traditional Medicare plans, or would otherwise have to be purchased with a Medigap plan.
What are some of the benefits of Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage plans offer a number of benefits in terms of coverage that aren’t found in traditional Medicare plans. For example, Medicare Advantage plans offer catastrophic coverage, and limits on out-of-pocket costs. The maximum out-of-pocket costs permitted for a Medicare Advantage plan holder is $6,700, and in many cases this figure is less.
Another example of better coverage can be found in Medicare Advantage plans which include Part D prescription drug coverage. 92 percent of seniors enrolled in Advantage plans have an enhanced Part D plan which has better coverage than standard Part D plans. “For instance, they provide insurance for drugs filled during the gap in coverage (beyond what is now mandated by the PPACA), or reduced or eliminated deductibles.”
Along with better coverage, Medicare Advantage plan members also receive better quality care. For example:
Based on 2005 and 2006 data, researchers from the Center for Policy and Research at America’s Health Insurance Plans found that MA heart and diabetes patients had equal or lower average rates of hospital admissions, re-admissions, and emergency room visits compared to traditional Medicare patients. MA patients with diabetes had lower rates of potentially avoidable admissions in seven out of eight plans. MA heart patients had similar outcomes in six of eight health plans.
Other data from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set have shown that Medicare Advantage plan members scored higher on measures of quality care than traditional Medicare recipients on eight of 11 criteria.
Medicare Advantage plan members may also enjoy lower monthly premiums. This can vary from plan to plan, but the average monthly premium has been declining or held steady since 2010. Many Medicare Advantage plan members have no premiums at all other than the standard Part B premium.
For more information about why seniors are enrolling in Medicare Advantage, contact Global Premier Benefits today.
About Global Premier Benefits
Global Premier Benefits offers education for seniors on healthcare options available to them that could improve their quality of life and defray their healthcare costs as well. We have agents and clients in more than 16 states, including the District of Columbia. Our goal is to enable seniors to live healthy, rewarding lives without compromising their finances. Please follow us on our blog for weekly information on seniors and health care. You can also keep up with Global Premier Benefits on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Tags: Medicare Advantage