It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the holidays. I’m referring to Medicare enrollment. Maybe you’ve noticed the onslaught of television, newspaper and online ads touting this or that Medicare plan. The deadline for open enrollment for 2021 Medicare coverage was December 7. But if you missed the deadline, you can still enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the open enrollment period from January 1 to March 31.
I’ve never paid much attention to the topic of Medicare. It was always for “old” people. Plus, all the talk about Parts A, B, C and D was just plain confusing. Medicare went under the heading of “I won’t think about that now. I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow” isn’t here yet for me, but I’ll be eligible before I know it. It’s time to stop playing Scarlett O’Hara and start focusing on this mindboggling subject.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Fortunately, we recently heard from Amelia Roberts, a Medicare Advocate at MedicareAdvantagePlans.org. Medicare Advantage Plans is an independent online resource for people who want to better understand the Medicare system so they can navigate it with confidence. Some people are first-timers and need help finding their way through the Medicare maze.
Others already subscribe to Medicare but want to research additional options before they re-enroll in their current plan. Maybe their health needs or financial circumstances have changed and they need to consider new options.
What is Medicare Advantage?
So, what is Medicare Advantage? Also known as Medicare (Part C), Medicare Advantage is a type of Medicare coverage offered by private insurance companies rather than the federal government. Because of the complexity of the Medicare topic, we are focusing this article strictly on Part C.
Amelia sent along some links to a few new guides developed by her company to help us make sense of it all. Heavily researched and fact-checked, the guides are designed to assist people with finding the plan that best fits both their medical and financial needs.
The decision to enroll in one type of plan over another is highly individual. Careful analysis of your inpatient, hospitalization, prescription, vision, dental and other health care needs is crucial to the decision process.
The first guide, “What is Medicare?”, is a basic explanation of Medicare. It also offers a straightforward description of its Part A, B, C and D components.
Guide #2, “What Does Medicare Part C Cover?”, focuses specifically on Medicare Part C.
The last guide, “How Do I Pick the Best Medicare Advantage Plan for Me?”, is designed to take people through the process of determining which plan is best for them. It covers HMO versus PPO advantage plans, along with fee-for-service and other specialty and hybrid plans.
What’s Your Experience?
We personally found these guides helpful and hope they provide a strong start for your own Medicare journey. If you have any suggestions or want to share your own experience with navigating the Medicare process, we’d love to hear from you!