People often ask:
”How do I choose the best Medicare Advantage plan?”
“What is the number one rated Medicare Advantage plan?”
“What is the best company for Medicare Advantage?”
”What Medicare Advantage plan has the highest rating?”
“Who can help me choose a Medicare plan?”
The straight and simple answer
These questions will return a lot of advertising search results on Google, but when you get down to the organic (non-advertising) content you’ll find that the answers to these questions are entirely subjective. The straight and simple answer? The worst Medicare Advantage plan may be the one with the lowest premium if you need healthcare, because your out-of-pocket costs can be very high.
The best plan is the one that best serves your unique situation and your vision of retirement…because at the end of the day, the best Medicare plan is one that gives you peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy your retirement. And in the end, you may find that none of the Medicare Advantage plans offered in your state are satisfactory for your unique situation and lifestyle.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll pay lower premiums for Medicare Advantage plans, but pay higher out-of-pocket costs when you need healthcare. Consider that even if you’re healthy today, with advanced age anyone who lives long enough will need more healthcare. And you may not be able to switch plans later. If you move, you’re plan may not cover you in your new location. And you’ll have to review your plan every year, because Medicare Advantage plan contracts are short and not guaranteed renewable.
What’s the alternative?
So as you anticipate needing more healthcare, these types of plans may not be right for you. On the other hand, Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap plans as they are sometimes called, make healthcare costs more predictable with lower out-of-pocket costs. With some Medigap plans, your total annual out-of-pocket costs (in addition to monthly premiums) are limited to the Part B deductible (only $233 in 2022). Though Medigap plans feature lower out-of-pocket costs, they often have higher premiums.
How are Medicare Advantage plans priced?
Medicare plans differ in price due to a number of factors; limits on out-of-pocket costs, and restrictions on doctors and providers (“in-network” v “out-of-network”) are just two examples. In many cases a Medicare Advantage plan won’t pay for care from specialists or experts you may want to use because they are outside the established network. Using out-of-network specialists can be very expensive, but not using them can be costly to your health.
The bottom line
Judging the worst Medicare Advantage plans will depend on your individual situation—both today and, more importantly, in the future. If you’re generally healthy, you’ll use less healthcare, and probably believe you can do without a lot of coverage. In this case you may opt for a plan with a lower monthly premium. But it can be a gamble to count on staying healthy forever. So, over the long term, a plan with more coverage, and fewer limitations, may be worth the extra premium—and could actually save you money over your lifetime
Can I change plans if I’m not satisfied
It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to change Medicare Plans, especially if you want to upgrade from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement Plan. Many people try to do this when they eventually need more healthcare and discover Medicare Advantage plans don’t help them pay for all the care they need.
For a personalized consultation on which plan may be right for your unique situation, contact Freedom@activagemedicare.com. Or call 941-567-6000