Have you heard about Medicare Advantage? It is a great alternative to Medigap that can actually be more affordable. It covers some different expenses and some of the same, so you would have to use it in place of Medigap and not alongside it. Advantage plans are meant to serve as a replacement for your basic Medicare plan, and your Medigap plan, if you have one. Medicare Advantage will cover all of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B for you, along with any urgently needed or emergency medical services. On top of all that, Advantage plans can also provide coverage for your checkups you get throughout the year, along with prescription apparatus such as glasses or hearing aids. They could even cover the cost of Medicare Part D, which is a drug coverage plan for prescription meds.
Advantage plans come with a limited coverage area. They are limited due to the network of the insurer that sells them. So, a smaller company that sells Advantage plans will have a smaller coverage network than a large company would. You can get more out of the plan and ensure you get some coverage no matter where you go, if you choose a specific type of Advantage plan. PPO Advantage plans will cover you no matter where you go, giving you partial coverage outside the network and full coverage within the network. HMO plans are a cheaper alternative that covers you completely when inside the network and not at all outside the network. Both of these will give you coverage outside the network in the event of an emergency.
Like Medigap Plans, there are a few notable companies that sell Advantage plans. Let’s take a moment to discuss them:
Humana– (NYSE: HUM) Humana’s Advantage plans go by the names Humana Gold Plus, Humana Choice Pro and Humana Gold Choice. Some of these will be as cheap as $0 per month, but you still have to pay the deductibles.
AARP/United Healthcare– If you pick an AARP Advantage plan, then it will be labeled as AARP Complete. Both HMO and PPO plans are available through this provider, and you can enjoy one of the largest networks in the nation with them.
BCBS– BCBS Advantage plans go under a variety of names, such as Blue Saver, Blue Advantage and Blue Value. These are all priced competitively, as is BCBS’ standard.
Kaiser– (NYSE: KGHI) Kaiser-Permanente sells Advantage plans under the names of Medi-Cal and Advantage Plus. This Oakland, California-based insurance provider is a non-profit company that is connected to numerous medical professionals.