Many people believe they’ll save enough money to cover all their needs when they retire. They save and invest in their retirement. However, there’s a problem. Our life expectancy has been growing, which means we’re living longer than ever before. That means plenty of seniors are living longer than they anticipated they would. Often realizing the savings vs. the expenditures for medical coverage is not enough.
Many healthcare services like Medicare and FEHB (or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program) don’t last as long as they should. In fact, they don’t provide long-term care at all. This is where Medicare Advantage comes into play. Medicare Advantage does what Parts A and B doesn’t, which is offering long-time services.
It’s completely understandable how important having this type of coverage is to seniors. This is supposed to be your golden years! You don’t want to have to worry about running out of coverage at any time. What you have to do now is determine what type of Medicare Advantage you need and what plan fits into your lifestyle.
Full-Time Care Service
Looking at the overall costs of long-term care, most people couldn’t afford it on their own. Just having six, hour-long visits, five days a week, costs as much as $31,200! That’s a ridiculous amount of money most seniors don’t have. Other services get even more expensive than this. Assisted living can costs upwards of $53,000 and a nursing home as much as $61,000 per year.
This is absolutely why having long-term care as part of your insurance is a must. That’s precisely what Medicare Advance does. Not having it can cost a fortune. Sadly, most seniors aren’t prepared for this additional expense. They think they’ll be okay, but realize the older they get, the more health care services they need. Not to mention the ever increasing cost of living changes
When looking at all the different Medicare Advantage plans, you should take the time to look through and consider all of your options. Different plans will take care of your needs. Be sure to do your research, so you don’t pick the wrong coverage. Not being proactive about choosing the right Medicare Advantage plan can cost you big time.
Choosing the Right Medicare Advantage Plan
When you look at the different Medicare Advantage plans available, you’ll see they aren’t too different from FEHB Program offers at all. The similarities include how each program is run, like the pre-set copays you can expect, the deductibles, as well as the full scope of networks and coinsurances for coverage. There’s really a lot of information to sort though.
Whatever plan you’re a part of (Part A or Part B), your new Medicare Advantage carrier will take over the plan coverage. They’ll ensure you get the inpatient and outpatient services you need when you need them. They’re guaranteed to cover the same needs you have covered under your original Medicare plan. This gives extra peace of mind.
There’s more good news! While Medicare Advantage does all the same things Original Medicare does, Medicare Advantage has, well, many advantages! It goes further than Medicare will go. As you age, there are times you need much more than regular doctor visits. Often the increasing need for vision. dental and hearing checkups happen as we age.
Yes, Medicare Advantage does help cover some dental expenses and the hearing specialist if you have the need for those appointments. If you wear glasses or need a hearing aid, then this coverage can help you save money in the long run. Original Medicare plans did not include any types of perks or benefits that covered the necessary procedures of hearing, vision, and dental.
In the past, Medicare carriers were not allowed to provide essential coverage to seniors. That time has now passed with the Medicare Advantage plans. As stated previously, Medicare Advantage can offer you with the options you need to stay healthy because dental visits, eye checkups, fitness, and wellness coverage are now available.
Thanks to Medicare Advantage, the rules have changed. CMS now allows for you to get supplemental coverage benefits. According to the rules, these benefits must be used to “diagnose, prevent, or treat an illness or injury, compensate for physical impairments, act to ameliorate the functional/psychological impact of injuries or health conditions, or reduce avoidable emergency and healthcare utilization.”
Long-term care certainly is a part of that as well. If you need any in-home care or other long-term care necessities, Medicare Advantage offers plans to help cover the expenses. Many cases in-home healthcare or day-care services are also provided with only standard deductibles and/or co-pays.
While this is mostly the case, each insurance company does it differently. They cover different aspects of Medicare Advantage. That’s why you need to choose the right supplemental benefits you need. These types of benefits are new in the world of Medicare, so it might take a little bit of time to find what each program provides.
The Pros of Medicare Advantage
It’s these additional benefits covered by Medicare Advantage that lead many seniors to choose this plan. Other forms of Medicare aren’t as helpful in this regard. However, it’s not just the extra benefits, but also the low monthly premium payments. There are even plans out there that have zero-dollar premiums based on your qualifications!
In fact, as many as 46% of those who enroll with Medicare Advantage will have no premium through 2019. The money comes from Medicare, paying for your benefits in full so you only have to pay the lowest premiums. That makes programs like Medicare Advantage extremely valuable to seniors.
Looking at Cost
One significant benefit already stated for Medicare Advantage is the lower monthly premium. The FLTCIP looks at the age of the enrollee and uses that to calculate the cost. At 65, the enrollee would be expected to pay around $200 every month. That’s a lot more than Medicare Advantage.
It’s important to look at the cost, but not everything is about money. You might lose a little bit of coverage by going with the cheaper plan. You’d pay more for FLTCIP, but you’d get better coverage under Medicare Advantage.
If you’re able to get Medicare Advantage and enroll in the FEHB program, then you have several options to choose from to get the best healthcare coverage that meets all of your needs. Again, select the options that give you the most comprehensive long-term care programs that will be needed as you age.
- Medicare Advantage plan
- FEHB health plan + FLTCIP
- Original Medicare + FLTCIP
Out of the three plans listed above, the Medicare Advantage would be the least expensive and friendliest plan on your wallet. However, again, be sure to make your decision not just on money alone. You will need to get the coverage that offers the best services for you and will serve you long-term.
Take the time to do your research. Look over each plan, its costs, and what it offers. Don’t pay for more than you need, but don’t shortchange yourself, either. You never know when you’ll need a service, but your coverage doesn’t provide it. Go through and pick the right coverage for your life.