Published Jan. 27, 2020
A new study shows that Medicare Advantage plans can deliver a significant cost value when compared to traditional Medicare (also known as fee-for-service Medicare, or FFS).
The report was published by UnitedHealth Group and was based on an average 72-year-old Medicare Advantage beneficiary who lived on a fixed annual income of less than $27,000 and had healthcare spending amounting to $3,632 in 2019.1
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According to the report:
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans provide coverage for everything covered by Original Medicare, or fee-for-service Medicare (which includes Medicare Part A and Part B).
In addition, some Medicare Advantage plans may include coverage for benefits like routine dental and vision care, allowances for hearing aids, gym memberships, home-delivered meals, non-emergency transportation and more.
Medicare Part D plans provide coverage exclusively for prescription drugs.
Medigap plans, also called Medicare Supplement Insurance, help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for, such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
It’s important to note that Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans are not the same thing. You cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
The study highlighted the variability of Medigap plan premium costs versus the relative stability and predictability of Medicare Advantage plan premiums.
Due to a combination of stable costs and the extra benefits that some Medicare Advantage plans may offer, the Medicare Advantage market has seen a growing popularity in recent years.
In 2020, more than 34 percent of all Medicare enrollees belong to a Medicare Advantage plan. That compares to 23 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries in 2009, and just 13 percent in 2005.2
Medicare Advantage plan selection and costs can vary by location and provider.
You can learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in your area by calling to speak with a licensed insurance agent. You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.
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Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
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