Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage

November 8, 2017

 

A recent Kaiser Health News article (“Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage: How To Choose”) offers some helpful advice on choosing between a traditional Medicare plan and a Medicare Advantage plan.  While Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide the same benefits offered through traditional Medicare, few people understand the differences.  According to the article, some of the pros of Medicare Advantage plans are:  the limited paperwork (in most cases, members do not have to submit claims); an emphasis on preventative care; extra benefits (such as vision and dental care); all in one coverage approach (i.e. no need for a separate plan for drug coverage); and cost controls.  On the negative side however, the article explains several potential issues: access to hospital and doctors limited to the plan network; accessing care can be limited by plan requirements such as requiring prior approval from primary physician to see a specialist; financial incentives to limit services through its monthly per member fee; and limited care available when traveling (generally only for emergency and urgent care).  

 

This is a helpful article particularly for those considering switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.  Here is a link to the full article: https://khn.org/news/medicare-vs-medicare-advantage-how-to-choose/

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