A Medicare Advantage Plan is also known as Medicare Part C.
Traditional “Original Medicare” is a list of benefits provided to you by Medicare. Most people receive Part A (hospital insurance) for little or no cost and also purchase Part B (medical insurance) from Medicare.
Under Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan), your Part A and Part B benefits are provided by a private company and you pay them, not the government, for those services. Medicare pays them a certain amount each month and requires them to provide certain minimum levels of care.
Why would anyone choose to do that?
Typically, a company offering a Medicare Advantage Plan might restrict you to visiting only doctors in their HMO or PPO plan. They may require a referral before covering a visit to a specialist. Those are added restrictions. On the other hand, they might offer additional coverage you don’t receive from Original Medicare, such as vision, hearing or dental. Normally they also include prescription drug coverage like Part D.
It’s just a different way of getting your Medicare benefits – and there are pros and cons both ways. Which you choose depends upon your personal needs. And that expense affects your retirement.
Of course, there are rules for what can and cannot be covered by Medigap or Medicare Advantage Plans – and for when and how you are allowed to change from one to another. And you aren’t allowed to have both. So you need to make sure you are choosing wisely.
Even different Medicare Advantage Plans can vary greatly in both costs and benefits offered.
How you’ll arrange to receive your health care during retirement is just one of the areas you’ll need to include in your retirement planning. You’ll need to have a good estimate for these and other expenses in order to know how much you’ll need to have saved before you are able to retire.
That’s part of what financial and retirement professionals like James Holloway Sr. and the team at Texas Financial and Retirement provide. We discover what resources you’ve accumulated for your retirement years, estimate your expenses and then help you develop a customized written retirement plan – to help you arrive at retirement and also to guide you during your retirement years. We work to maximize your retirement income while minimizing the tax burden on your heirs.