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The Basics To Navigating Medicare Advantage Plans

Navigating Medicare can take a little patience and willingness to learn, as there are multiple parts to the government-backed insurance plan for elderly and retired Americans. If you are of retirement age, it is important that you understand the different types of insurance that you can get under Medicare and how they all work.

Medicare Coverage Is About Age

You cannot qualify for Medicare until you are at least 65 years old. Even if you retire before you hit 65 years old, that doesn't mean that you qualify for Medicare. Medicare is about reaching a certain age, not just about if you are working and if you have insurance from your employer.

Start With Original Medicare Part A & B

You have to start with the Original Medicare before you can add onto your coverage. Original Medicare is also known as Part A and Part B. These are two different types of Medicare coverage.

Part A of your Medicare plan is designed to cover hospital stays as well as skilled nursing, home health-care, and hospice care. If you worked for at least ten years and paid taxes towards Medicare, you do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. If you or your spouse have less than 10 years of work history, you will have to pay a monthly premium for this insurance coverage.

Part B of the Medicare plan is your more basic health insurance coverage. This includes regular doctor's visits, preventative services, lab work and testing as well as outpatient surgery. Everyone has to pay a premium for part B as well

Medicare Advantage Is Also Known As Medicare Part C

With Medicare Advantage, your benefits from Medicare Part A and B are taken over by a private company who will implement your Medicare Benefits. You will retain your original Medicare Part A and B coverage. Medicare Advantage plans also provide you with coverage for medication, which is known as Medicare Part D. Medicare Part C essentially wraps Medicare Part A, B, and C under one umbrella.

In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to be eligible for Medicare and already be enrolled in a Medicare Part A and Part B plan. You also have to live within the service area, which is based on the county you live in, not just the state you live in. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you'll get all of your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage through your new Medicare Advantage plan. You'll have the same level of coverage as before, as required by federal law, but the fee structures and access to medical professionals will vary.

One of the big benefits of Medicare Advantage plans is that they usually offer hearing, vision, and dental care while also providing you with prescription drug coverage. Otherwise, you have to purchase each of those types of insurance separately from your Medicare Part A & Part B plan.

If you want to bundle all of your Medicare coverage under one umbrella, switch from original Medicare Part A & B, and get a Medicare Advantage plan that will provide you Part A, B, and D coverage while also potentially providing you with hearing, vision, and dental coverage as well. Plans vary from one state to another, and even within a state, so be sure to compare plans closely to find one that offers you the coverage that you need. Contact a service, like Senior Advisors, for more help.