One of the first things people may want to know when shopping for health insurance coverage the cost of the plan. But what if there were affordable Medicare Advantage plans that offered $0 premiums?1
There were over 3,100 Medicare Advantage plans for sale in the U.S. in 2018, and many of those have $0 premiums.2 Here we’ll take a detailed look at these plans and help you make the most informed decision regarding your Medicare coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans with $0 premiums may still include some other cost requirements, similar to those that can be found with plans that do have premium costs. These costs may include:
From 2015 to 2016, the availability of $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans surged, as more than 80 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries had access to at least one $0 premium plan in 2016. This represented a 78 percent increase from 2015.5
By law, Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same basic coverage as Part A and Part B of Medicare (though you still receive coverage for hospice care through Medicare Part A).
Some Medicare Advantage plans may then offer additional benefits that are unique to each plan. Some popular additional benefits include coverage for prescription drugs, vision, hearing and dental treatment.
Like any Medicare Advantage plan, a $0 premium plan may offer different benefits than other available plans.
Every state except Alaska has Medicare Advantage plans for sale in 2019, and Wyoming was the only state in 2018 (aside from Alaska) that did not offer any $0 premium plans.6 Not every area within each state will necessarily have a $0 premium plan for sale, as costs and availability vary all across the U.S.
If you’re interested in comparing Medicare Advantage plans where you live, contact a licensed insurance agent at TTY Users: 711 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to review available plans and to learn more about what each plan may have to offer.
1 You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. $0 premium plans may not be available in all areas.
2 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare offers more health coverage choices and decreased premiums in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2017-Press-releases-items/2017-09-29.html.
3 National Council on Aging. Medicare Advantage: Overview of Coverage and Costs. Retrieved from https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/medicare-advantage-coverage-and-costs.pdf.
4 Medicare.gov. Medicare 2019 costs at a glance. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/costs-at-a-glance/costs-at-glance.html
5 Jacobsob, Gretchen. Medicare Advantage 2016 Data Spotlight: Overview of Plan Changes. Dec. 3, 2015. Kaiser Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/report-section/medicare-advantage-2016-data-spotlight-overview-of-plan-changes-plan-premiums.
6 Kaiser Foundation. Medicare Advantage Plans. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/state-indicator/plans/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D.