Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plus additional benefits. These perks can include prescription drug coverage and out of state benefits. These plans are offered through private insurance companies like Priority Health. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a financial contribution on behalf of all Medicare beneficiaries so the insurance companies are able to pass those savings onto to its members.
Some Medicare Advantage plans, including several offered by Priority Health, have a $0 monthly premium. These plans can be a great option for some Medicare beneficiaries, especially if you have lower coverage needs. If you’ve taken a look at your current coverage and want to explore a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan, here are a few things you should consider when shopping plans.
Other Health Care Costs with a $0 Medicare Advantage Premium Plan
With $0 Medicare Advantage plans, you won’t have to pay anything for your monthly premium. However, similar to other plans, you’ll still have some health care expenses.
Medicare Part B premium: Regardless of your monthly premium or which Medicare Advantage plan you’re enrolled in, as a Medicare beneficiary you’ll still have to pay your Medicare Part B premiums to the federal government.
Deductibles: In many cases, Medicare Advantage plans will have a deductible that must be met before the plan will begin to pay. You’ll be responsible for your health care costs out of pocket until you’ve reached your deductible.
Co-payments: For many services, you’ll have to pay a small share of health care costs when you receive care, while your insurance pays the remaining costs. This holds true even once you’ve reached your deductible. Medicare Advantage plans, regardless of monthly premiums, will charge co-payments.
Prescription Drug Costs: Each Medicare Advantage with a Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan includes coverage for your drug costs. Your $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan is no different. Each plan has a list of drugs that it covers and various out-of-pocket expenses for these drugs. Depending on the amount and combination of drugs that you may take, it’s important to look for a plan that best works to cover your needs and budget.
Is a $0 Medicare Advantage Premium Plan Right For You?
$0 premium Medicare Advantage plans are a great option for Medicare-eligible individuals who are looking to save money each month and have lower coverage needs. There is often a trade-off between premium and deductible/ co-payment costs for any health plan. The lower your premium, the higher your deductible. Since your premium is costing you nothing, these plans may have higher deductibles than other Medicare Advantage plans. Remember to add your prescription costs into the mix, too.
Of course, there is no one Medicare Advantage plan that fits all, so it’s important to take your health care needs into account when selecting a plan. Medicare Advantage plans with higher monthly premiums may end up saving you money. Consider talking with an agent to help you make the best decision for your health and budget.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is fast approaching from October 15 to December 7, 2021. During this time you can shop for new Medicare coverage and determine which plan is best for you. Learn more about the Priority Health $0 Medicare Advantage plan by visiting Priority Health’s website, or by calling our Medicare specialists at 877.777.4280 (TTY 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Starting to plan for your retirement? Visit our Retirement Starter for the tools and resources to help you get started.