More Private Medicare Plans Available For 2020

Private insurer’s plans are increasing for Medicare Advantage (MA) in 2020 with about 3,150 MA plans that offer expanded coverage options currently unavailable under the traditional Medicare, which is 15 percent from 2019 – based on research by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  

Medicare Open Enrollment started Oct. 15 and it ends Dec. 7. During this enrollment period, you are also free to either enroll for the first time or change your current plan. This includes going from the traditional Medicare plans or switching between MA and Part D drug coverage plans. Almost 37 percent of Medicare members, which is 22 million out of 60 million, currently have MA plans.    

Unfortunately, not many people change their Medicare coverage every year and not many plans have done enough to compel people to do so, especially when it comes to MA Part D drug coverage where insurers add and discard drugs from their plans and alter drug coverage prices. However, according to a recent report, individuals enrolled with MA Part D could save as much as $1,150 if they enroll in a drug plan best suited for their needs. The savings when enrolling in a stand-alone MA Part D plan are about $800. Yet less than 10% of the people are enrolled in an optimal plan.  

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you should take a closer look at Medicare Advantage plans since they offer more vital benefits that traditional Medicare doesn’t, including hearing and vision, limited dental, fitness club benefits, and much more. These are important benefits to have as you get older. Additionally, recent changes to Medicare allow MA to offer what’s known as supplemental benefits. These are non-medical coverage that will help preserve or improve your well-being such as transportation to your medical visits, meals delivered to your home, and so on.

Keep in mind, supplemental plans aren’t available to all members and they are generally offered to individuals with chronic conditions. This means, if you are interested in an MA plan, you should contact the plan to learn whether you qualify for benefits. Individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage must pay their Part B monthly premiums. The good news is most plans don’t charge extra for drug coverage. Many plans also don’t add premiums for other important benefits. Yet, less expensive plans often require higher premiums.

These difficulties are why contacting an agent is crucial to comparing plans wisely and choosing the most appropriate for you. MA plans may require members to use physicians or hospitals included in their network of providers and may become expensive when you go out-of-network or reject coverage. So, make sure you work with your present care of providers to confirm they are included in the provider network of the Medical Advantage plan you are considering.