Now is the time to enroll in a no monthly premium Medical Advantage Plan (MAP) to upgrade your Medical benefits.
While some MAPs have a monthly premium, there are enough of them to choose from whereby you don’t need to pay a monthly premium.
Medicare Advantage Plan, Part C, came into existence in 2003 and has been growing ever since. Now nearly 27 million Medicare beneficiaries get their Parts A and B benefits delivered through MAPs which are offered by private insurers and typically include Part D prescription drug coverage.
In addition to delivering your Part A and Part B benefits, many MAPD Plans offers benefits not available through Original Medicare which may include dental, hearing, fitness programs, telemedicine, money for healthy food, personal household help, over-the-counter drugs, transportation to doctor visits, and other extras. Plans can also tailor their benefit packages to certain chronically-ill conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
MAPD Plans must cover all the services that Original Medicare covers except hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care even when you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care. Medicare Advantage Plans must offer emergency coverage of the plan’s service areas (but not outside of the U.S.)
In most Medicare Advantage HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Plans, you can only go to doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals in the plan’s network, except in an urgent or emergency situation. In an HMO-POS(Point of Service) Plan, you may be able to get some services out-of-network for a higher copayment or coinsurance.
You just need to make sure that your favorite providers and hospitals are in the network and that your medications are on the plan’s formulary.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) allows you to leave a plan, sign up for a plan, or switch plans.The AEP lasts from October 15th to December 7th each year. However, if you are just turning 65, the AEP is unimportant. Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts 3 months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. Finally, if you enrolled in a MAPD Plan between Oct. 15th and Dec 7th, you can switch to another Advantage Plan or drop it in favor of Original Medicare and pick up a standalone Part D prescription plan between Jan.1st and March 31st.
Remember, if you enroll in a MAPD Plan, you must continue paying your Part B premiums. Moreover, you can’t have a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan at the same time. And, when you enroll in a MAPD Plan, your coverage will begin on January 1, 2022.