Medicare's open enrollment period from October 15th, 2021, to December 7th, 2021, is a time for you to review your benefits and make changes as needed. This could be as routine as signing up again if your current plan offers coverage through 2022. It could also mean changing plans or providers because you want to change your prescription drug coverage or need extra living help. If you're enrolled in Medicare or getting ready to register you might have questions. Here's what you need to know.
What Is The Difference Between Medicare Advantage And Original Medicare?
Original Medicare is managed by the federal government and offers you hospital (Part A) and outpatient (Part B) coverage, including doctors' visits, tests, and procedures. Medicare Advantage plans are designed for people with Medicare Parts A and B who get additional coverage from a private insurance company.
These managed-care plans provide the same basic coverage as the original Medicare program but may offer additional benefits such as prescription medication coverage and vision and hearing care. If you are on original Medicare, you can purchase supplemental plans to help cover any of your additional healthcare costs or a Part D prescription drug plan.
Which Plan Is Right For Me?
Between Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans, there are wide-ranging effects on the cost of healthcare for you—and your budget. These differences apply even if you already have employer-sponsored insurance. Original Medicare is accepted by most doctors across the country, which could be an asset if you ever need care while traveling out of state.
Like most employer-based insurance plans, Medicare Advantage plans come with a specific network of doctors and hospitals. You have to use a doctor or hospital on the list. If you visit any other doctor, it may not be covered or may cost extra.
What Is The Difference Between Coinsurance, A Copay, A Premium, And A Deductible?
There are three cost-sharing types: premium, deductible, and copay. Plans may require copays when you receive treatment or purchase prescriptions. Copays are set by your plan and may vary from one plan to the next. The annual premium is the amount charged for each year of insurance. You should also consider other fees, such as the application fee and any discounts you may qualify for, including multi-vehicle, non-smoker discounts.
Your new plan will have a predetermined yearly deductible, depending on the plan selected. The amount you'll have to spend out of pocket before your plan starts to pay its share of covered benefits is called the deductible. Your new plan has a yearly deductible plus a percentage of your medical expenses after you meet that deductible. We call this percentage coinsurance. Original Medicare has an annual deductible plus coinsurance that is 20% once your deductible is met.