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What Is Medicare Advantage, and Do I Need It?

Typically, in October, the spam calls and mountains of junk mail start pouring in to let you know it’s time for Annual Enrollment. The hubbub can bring about a lot of confusion. This week on the blog, we’re going to review why autumn brings about Medicare hysteria and break down what, if any, action you should take before Annual Enrollment ends on December 7.

Why Am I Getting So Much Medicare Mail?

Annual Enrollment is here, and that’s the reason for the Medicare mail and spam calls. But be careful – you cannot trust every “Medicare professional” out there. One of our goals at Delta Medicare Benefits Group is to cut away all the clutter and be the trustworthy resource you need in order to decide the best Medicare route for you.

Annual Enrollment is the period of time when you are allowed to enroll in or change your Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as Medicare Part C). It’s a good idea to look at your Medicare Advantage Plan yearly to ensure you’ve got the best plan available to you. Some specific reasons you may want to review your plan this year are if your medication costs on a current Medicare Advantage Drug Plan (MAPD) have increased or are no longer covered or if your preferred doctor has opted out of the network. A change in your MAPD could lower your drug costs or get your preferred doctor back.

What Is the Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare?

Original Medicare is the basic Medicare coverage you may have had before switching to a Medicare Advantage Plan. Original Medicare covers Part A, B, and D; typically, Original Medicare holders purchase a supplement, and we recommend it if you have Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage (Part C) is another way to receive Medicare coverage. It’s offered through private insurance companies versus coming directly from the government. Medicare Advantage covers your Part A, B, and D. It also provides you additional coverage, such as vision, dental, hearing, gym, and sometimes over-the-counter (OTC) medication benefits.

Here’s how Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage compare:

Original Medicare:

  • Part A is free

  • Part B is $170.10 for most people in 2022 (the amount you pay is based on your designated Part B premium - see chart here)

  • Part D will cost somewhere in the range of $10 to $75 (Note that it could be less or more; this vastly depends on your medications and other factors - click here for more information on Part D costs)

  • Supplemental coverage will range from $85 to $110 for most 65-year-olds (this could be less or more, depending on certain factors)

  • There are no networks, so Original Medicare is accepted anywhere that Medicare is accepted

  • Dental, vision, and hearing are not covered

Medicare Advantage Plan:

  • Part A is free

  • Part B is $170.10 for most people in 2022 (note that you’ll still pay your designated Part B premium, as discussed above)

  • Part D is included

  • In most cases, there is a $0 premium

  • Includes dental, vision, hearing, gym, and OTC benefits

How Do I Enroll in or Change My Medicare Advantage Plan?

The easiest way to enroll in or change your Medicare Advantage Plan is by calling our Medicare experts at Delta Medicare Benefits Group. We can walk you through the entire process and ensure you are set up with the plan that makes the most sense for you based on your specific situation. Call us at 901-460-7220 to set up an appointment. You can also email us at info@deltabenefitsgroup.com or fill out our convenient online form, and we’ll reach out to you.

Remember that you have from October 15 to December 7 yearly to do any of the following updates to your MAPD:

  • Make changes to or enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan

  • Add or drop drug coverage on their Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Update insurance coverage by changing to a new plan or switching insurance companies entirely

We look forward to speaking with you about your Medicare. If you have additional questions, give us a call, or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page here.