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When choosing any Medicare plan you should consider cost carefully. This is as true of Medicare Advantage Plans as Original Medicare. There are numerous factors that determine what you pay for an Advantage Plan. You should consider a number of things before signing on the dotted line.
First, does the plan have a premium you will have to pay in addition to your Part B premium? What does paying that premium get you in coverage? Some plans cover at least part of your Part B premium but not all. Ask if the plan has a yearly or other deductible. Some plans charge a deductible for certain services. Ask if a plan has such additional deductibles. How much will you pay for every office visit in co-payments?
Before signing on, make a list of health services you need and how often you need them. Be sure the plan will take care of these. If your plan requires you to use network providers be sure to take this into account when calculating costs. Ask about extra benefits included in the plan and be sure you need them before you sign up and pay for them. Finally, know the yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for medical services.
Remember, costs vary on Medicare Advantage plans because they are run by private companies. Likewise, companies have different rules. Always be sure your providers participate in your plan. If they don't you may pay more.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|