When the enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 comes around, a lot of seniors will be signing up, either giving up their current coverage or choosing Medicare Advantage as their first senior-focused coverage plan. Advantage plans offer such powerful coverage that they are very attractive for people who have a lot of healthcare needs. They can cover seniors for common, necessary medical services and help to provide peace of mind, and that is often worth the monthly premium for many seniors who currently struggle to pay their healthcare bills every month.
While 2021 may still be a while away, you can start planning now for the coverage plan that you will need. You can figure out what kind of healthcare needs you might have and find a plan that will meet those needs. A lot seniors are looking at these same plans right now as well, since they may not be eligible for Medicare for 2020 or they may simple not need the coverage Advantage plans provide just yet. But planning ahead to 2021 can be a great idea, since we already know a lot about these plans. We have an idea as to who will be selling them and even about how much they will sell the plans for. We definitely know what kind of medical expenses that plans will cover for you, since that isn’t expected to change anytime soon. If it does, you can come right here to our site and read all about it.
Medicare Advantage Plan Coverage in 2021
Medicare Advantage plans are sold privately, by companies like Aetna Humana and others. These companies can decide a lot of things about the Advantage plans they sell, such as which ones they will offer, what coverage is provided by the higher end plans and what price they will set. All of this is up to the insurance carrier, but they cannot determine what the base coverage will be. Only Medicare gets to decide that. And Medicare decides when that coverage will change too. It’s not set to change anytime soon, though, which is why we can say in confidence that we know what the Advantage plans for 2021 are going to cover.
Base coverage for Medicare Advantage is going to take care of all of Original Medicare (except for hospice care). That means the entirety of Medicare parts A and B will be included in what Medicare Advantage offers. You might think that it would be redundant to have a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time as an Original Medicare plan then, since Original Medicare covers the same parts A and B. However, the two plans are designed with the other in mind, so you don’t have to worry about any overlap or about paying for the same coverage twice.
Advantage plans will also cover the cost of urgently needed care. That means any medical expense that your doctor says you need will have to be covered by this plan, so long as you pay the deductible first.
Emergency care is covered too, which can include ambulance services and ER visits that are not already covered by the Medicare Part B section of the policy.
This is only the basic coverage so for, or what Medicare requires every Advantage plan to include. It is powerful coverage just like that, but the Advantage plans actually tend to go further many times. There are higher coverage plans, often called Medicare Complete or Medicare Plus plans.
They can cover you for prescription drugs and checkups, among other things. The prescription drug part of the plan is going to cover you for a Medicare Part D plan. This includes coverage for both generic and name brand products, so it can really save you some money.
Now, Part D coverage is fully optional, and you do not have to choose an Advantage plan that includes it. You can just go with a basic plan or find one that offers coverage for the basic Advantage items and for your checkups, if that is what you require.
Medicare Advantage Plan Enrollment
Medicare Advantage plans are going to be available to any senior who is 65 years old and already eligible for Medicare. If you have an Original Medicare plan right now, then you are probably also eligible for Medicare Advantage, also known by the name Medicare Part C.
The right time to sign up for Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 is during the Open Enrollment period. This is going to begin on October 15th, and it doesn’t end until December 7th. This is a key time for seniors, particularly those who already have the plan. It allows them to change their plan as they see fit, even upgrading to something more robust and comprehensive. They can also renew their plan during that time or cancel their plan outright. Some seniors try out Medicare Advantage for a while and then decide that it isn’t right for them. They can opt to go with something different once their term is over.
If you signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan during your Open Enrollment period, then you will start to receive coverage on January 1st of the following year. So, those who sign up in November of 2020 will have coverage applied to them beginning January 1st, 2021.
How Medicare Advantage Works with Other Healthcare Plans
Advantage plans will not be compatible with every medical insurance plan. They work fine with Original Medicare, as an Advantage plan will actually replace that coverage plan. However, many medical plans will conflict and overlap with Medicare Advantage. That leaves you in a position where you have to pick between one plan or the other. This occurs with every Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and most employer and union healthcare plans. These simply will not work with Medicare Advantage, since they share some of the same coverage.
One kind of plan that could possibly conflict is Medicare Part D. This is a prescription drug coverage plan that is sometimes included in Medicare Advantage. If it is included, then you obviously could not sign up for a standalone version at the same time. You will have to choose between the included one or the standalone plan. Of course, you could always change your Advantage plan to be one that doesn’t include Part D, but bear in mind that it is usually cheaper to get an Advantage plan with Part D included than it is to buy the two plans separately.
If you have any questions or concerns about conflicting plans, then please give us a call. Let us help you figure out the kind of coverage that works best for you and answer any questions that you may have. Our team has years of experience in dealing with health insurance, and they know how to resolve coverage conflicts and ensure that whatever insurance policy you have will be compatible with the new Advantage plan you want to sign up for.
Medicare Advantage Plans HMO’s and PPO’s
Anytime you are dealing with a Medicare Advantage plan, there will be some limits as to where that plan can be accepted. In other words, there will be medical facilities that you can go to for treatment where your coverage plan will not be honored. That isn’t usually a problem with Original Medicare or Medicare Supplements, but Advantage plans are limited by their carrier’s network.
If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan from Aetna in the state of Florida, for example, then there will be places in that state where the plan will not be honored. Those medical facilities are not considered to be part of Aetna network. As large as an insurance company like this is, there are limits to where its network area can reach.
Before you sign up for Medicare Advantage with any insurance provider, you need to be aware of what their network area is like, particularly around where you live. It’s okay if you want to sign up for a plan from a provider that doesn’t have much or any coverage near you, but you have to choose the right network option to compensate.
There are two primary ones for you to choose from. These would be HMO and PPO network options. Let’s break them down for you so you can see where you might use one over the other.
These are economically priced, very limited network options that will only cover you within the carrier’s network. The only time you can get coverage outside of your carrier’s network when you are on an HMO-type plan is when you are experiencing an emergency and you need to be transported to an off-network medical facility for treatment.
These are more expensive but will cover you in more locations. They offer full coverage while you are on the network, but they can also provide partial coverage outside of the network. This is the kind of option you might go with if you live outside of your carrier’s network area or if you tend to travel a lot and don’t know where you might be when you need some coverage.
These are your main network options, and there are some more, but you won’t see the other as often and may not be eligible for them either.
Compare Medicare Advantage Plans for 2021
We recommend that every senior who is interested in a Medicare Advantage spend some time sourcing quotes. This means they gather as many quotes as they can from different insurance companies and see how their rates compare. Of course, deciding on a coverage plan and an insurance provider isn’t all about the price, but it plays an important part. After all, if your insurance plan isn’t saving you some money, then it isn’t really doing much for you. Yes, it may give you peace of mind, but you can probably get peace of mind from an affordable plan and not feel like you are wasting your money.
So, you will want to compare the Advantage plans for 2021, and you can do that by using our website. We have a search tool built in that is free and simple to use. All you need to do is search for the Advantage plan that you are interested in and supply the zip code for where you live. From there, we will give you a list of quotes that are local for your area. The rates do differ from one place to another, so you want to make use of a quote searching tool that gives you relevant, local rates.
There is no need to pay for this kind of service. Other sites will charge you money or add a fee onto your plan if you buy it through them, but we don’t do that. This service is completely free of charge, and you can come back and use our site as often as you like. We hope you find a plan that saves you money and fits you well.
The more prices you compare, the better off you will be, as you will increase your chances of saving money. You won’t know whether you got a good plan at a good price until you compare it to some of the other plans, and our site makes that a simple task to pull off. We always supply you with a list of quotes for your area and the plan you searched for. This helps you figure out what the best rates are and how much money you could save by choosing one plan over another.
The cost of Medicare Advantage for 2021 isn’t available yet, but you can expect it to be about $14 or so on average. That’s across all the Advantage plans including basic and high coverage ones, so you can definitely find plans that are much cheaper or much more expensive. They usually top out around $300, and there are some that are as low as $0 per month. Of course, to make up for the low premiums, the insurance provider will charge a higher out-of-pocket deductible. If you are in reasonably good health and don’t need to use the doctor or the hospital much for the year, then a higher deductible version of the plan you want could be a big money saver for you.
Medicare Supplement Plans 2021
One Medicare option that people also choose, whether they are switching plans or new to Medicare, is one of the Medicare supplement plans in 2021. These are different products than Advantage plans and offer outstanding coverage, especially for those not wanting a network.
In 2021 Medicare supplement plans (also called Medigap), will not have any changes and will continue to offer Seniors fantastic coverage. Unlike advantage plans, Medicare supplements have no network and can be used nationwide with doctors, hospitals, and specialists that accept regular Medicare. There are several different plan letters available for supplements, with really only a handful that most people enroll in.
Medicare Supplement Plans 2021 – NO Network!
As mentioned Medigap plans can be used anywhere, unlike the advantage plans which each have their own network. Only emergency coverage is covered outside an advantage plan network. Therefore, if you travel quite a bit you might always be out of your own network. Medicare supplement plans follow Medicare wherever it goes, and coverage can be used anywhere in the United States and most even provide emergency foreign travel benefits as well.
Medicare Supplement Plans 2021 – Compare Plans
Medicare Supplement plans in 2021 are not changing benefits, and there are a number of options to choose. Plans are lettered A-N with each offering it’s own unique set of benefits. While that might seem confusing, there are really only a few plans most people choose.
Those plans are Plan F, G, and N. We do not recommend people enroll in Plan F at this time, as it’s simply too costly with higher rate increases each year. Below is a description of each plan to help you learn more.
Medicare Supplement Plan F in 2021
Plan F became the most popular plan due to being the most comprehensive in benefits. This plan covers 100% of the gaps in Medicare, resulting in no medical bills. On plan F you would not even pay a co-payment, however the premiums are much higher for plan F as our the rate increases. For these reasons most people consider Plan G, and even Plan N.
Medicare Supplement Plan G in 2021
The only difference between Plan G and Plan F is one small deductible and who pays it. This is the Medicare Part B deductible that everyone must pay, once-per-year. It has ranged from $135 – 198 over the years, and once you pay this deductible (or your plan pays it) Medicare begins paying as well as your Plan G if you have it. If you have a Plan F, your plan pays this deductible for you. The only problem is you’re likely paying far higher premiums than the amount of the deductible each year. This means you’re giving the insurance extra money each year, to pay the deductible. With your money!
There is one small difference between Plan F and G, and that is who pays the annual Medicare part B deductible each year. Prior to Medicare paying any of your health claims someone, or some plan, must pay this deductible. It’s price has ranged from $125 – $198 over the years and typically goes up a little each year. With Plan F your deductible of say, $198, might be paid for you. The amount you pay to have a Plan F might cost you and extra $350 per year though. So you would be spending $350 per year to get a $198 benefit. A complete loss!
For this reason Plan G is far more attractive as it has not only lower premiums but also lower rate increases each year. Another plan however is also a great option, and that is Plan N.
Medicare Supplement Plan N in 2021
On Medigap Plan N you still pay the Part B deductible just like on Plan G. The difference with Plan N is, after you meet this amount you might have a small co-pay each doctor’s visit. This co-pay will never be more than $20 though, and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll even have to pay one. It all depends on how the doctor’s office codes your visit. As well, on Plan N if you visit the emergency room and you are not admitted there will be a $50 co-payment that you must pay. Plan N also does not cover what is called “excess charges”. These are quite rare and in some states they’re not even allowed to charge them. If your doctor takes the assigned rates from Medicare (and it’s estimated that over 95% of them do), then you will never see an excess charge from them.
Medicare Supplement Plan N in 2021 will be a very popular plan as the premiums are the lowest of the three, as well as having the lowest rate increases. Plan N has different cost sharing options that you are responsible for if you use the coverage. They are:
- You must pay the annual Part B deductible
- You might have a small co-pay of up to $20 per doctor’s visit
- There is a $50 co-pay if you visit the ER and you are not admitted
- Plan N doesn’t cover Part B excess charges which are extremely rare
Plan N is a fantastic option for anyone looking to return to original Medicare to have the freedom to see any doctor they wish who accepts Medicare, but don’t want the high premiums that a Plan F brings.
Plan N offers great coverage for low premiums, and like all the other Medicare supplement plans in 2021 there is no network.
List of Medicare Advantage Plans 2021
There are all sorts of companies that will be selling Medicare Advantage plans in 2021, but there are a few standout ones that we think you should be considering. These are ones with highly rated plans, a history of taking care of their customers, great company stability, superb prices or something else that makes them worth noticing. Maybe your next insurance carrier is on this list. Use our site to check their prices and see how they compare.
Humana (NYSE: HUM)
Signing up for one of the Humana plans means that you will benefit from their extensive network, competitive rates and great customer benefits. Humana offers a variety of different Advantage plans, including Humana Gold Plus, Humana Choice Pro and Humana Gold Choice. No matter which Humana Medicare Advantage 2021 plan you get, you will receive the standard base coverage at least.
AARP/United Healthcare (NYSE: UNH)
AARP Complete is the name given to AARP Advantage plans. These offer powerful coverage, yes, but they also offer numerous customer benefits like gym memberships, medical doctor consultations, personalized health plans and much more. An AARP Medicare Advantage plan is also a United Healthcare (AARP) Medicare Advantage 2021 plan. These two companies work together for now and share assets, providing consumers with a huge well of resources from which to draw.
BCBS (NYSE: ANTM)
The many companies that make up BCBS are all abiding by the same guidelines and all strive to offer low prices and great customer service. This is part of what sets the Blue Cross Medicare Advantage 2021 plans apart from their competition. You are unlikely to find much lower prices than what they offer, but of course you can use our site to check on the rates and see how BCBS compares.
Aetna- (NYSE: AET)
Member perks for any of the Aetna Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 are going to add value to the plans. Aetna offers health and fitness plans that are personalized to the customer. They also offer coverage for some nonessential medical expenses, as well as discounts for gym membership and more. Use our site to check out Aetna’s rates and see how competitive they can be. Many seniors save money by choosing this provider for their insurance carrier.
These are your major medical insurance carriers for Medicare Advantage. You can find the rates from these for Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 right here on our site. The rates will be available for you to search as soon as the insurance companies set them. Please feel free to use our site to research the kind of plan you want to sign up for, and get in touch with us to have your questions answered and to get expert advice on medical insurance.