2017 Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15th through December 7th. If you have Medicare, you should review you coverage. Even if you are happy with your current coverage, you might find a new plan that’s a better fit for your budget or health needs. Take the time to: Review your plan notice. Think about what matters most to you. Find out if you qualify for help paying for your Medicare. Shop for plans that meet your needs and fit your budget and check your plan’s star rating before you enroll. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov for more information.
2017 Medicare Important Dates
• The “2017 Medicare & You” handbooks are mailed to Medicare beneficiaries.
• Health and drug plans begin notifying enrollees about changes to their plans in 2017.
• Beneficiaries can begin shopping and comparing plans on Medicare.gov starting October 1.
• Beneficiaries should watch their mail for notices from Medicare with information about changes in 2017.
• Medicare health and drug plan Star Ratings will be available on Medicare.gov starting October 12.
• Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15.
• Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7.January 2017
• Medicare plan coverage begins January 1.
Selecting the Right Medicare Advantage Plan
A Medicare Advantage plan is a health insurance policy sold through private insurance carriers as an alternative to Original Medicare but you’re still in the Medicare Program. Some Medicare Advantage providers include AARP, Aetna, Cigna, Florida, Humana, Kaiser, UnitedHealthCare and WellCare.
Most Medicare Advantage plans offer additional drug benefits and are known as “MAPD.” Each Medicare Advantage plan offers different premiums and is connected to different pharmacies and providers. Moreover, the plans often have different coverage amounts for one drug. All of this can get confusing for a person who doesn’t have much of a clue about different Medicare plans. As a result, there are several things that you need to know when it comes to choosing a plan for yourself. For people who aren’t web-savvy, choosing the right plan can be even more difficult. To help you make the right choice, here are a few factors that you should consider.Look at Plans in Your Area
As mentioned, the plans usually vary from one state or county to another. While plans generally vary depending upon which state you are situated in 2017, the average American has a choice of 19 programs. Before you select any plan you need to consider Medicare Help’s website. Select your coverage area above and then you can see all available plans in your area. This website is extremely helpful in making the right selection. When you select a particular plan, you will be able to see different details of the plan.Consider Your Drugs
The first thing that you need to consider is the drugs that you take. For instance, some plans provide coverage for certain prescription drugs, while others do not. Therefore, you need to look at different plans and decide the one that provides coverage for your prescription drugs.Look at all the Costs
When you compare plans, you'll need to look at multiple costs: drug costs, copays, premiums, deductibles and what happens once you enter the donut hole, or coverage gap where you are required to pay more out of pocket for drugs once you and your plan hit a set amount of covered drugs. You leave the coverage gap once your out of pocket costs reach the annual limit for out of pocket expenses and you're eligible for catastrophic coverage, which provides significantly discounted drugs and lower copays. Remember this is the maximum amount that you will have to pay within a year in case of a serious medical emergency. If the annual out of pocket limit is more than what you can afford to pay, you should seriously consider alternative plans.Look at Quality ratings
The CMS gives star ratings for health plan and drug plan quality, with the top rating being five stars. The CMS rate things such as customer satisfaction, customer service, experience with the drug plan and the quality of care the plan delivers. Plans with the top ratings get rewarded with extra money from the government to spend on additional medical benefits.Vision and Dental Coverage
Many of the Medicare Advantage plans now provide coverage for certain vision and dental coverage.
2017 Standard Plan Changes
|2017 Standard Benefit Changes|
|Initial Coverage Limit||$2,960.00||$3,310.00||$3,700.00|
|Catastrophic Coverage Begins||$6,680.00||$7,062.50||$7,425.00|
|Part D Coverage Gap |