Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are a great way for Medicare beneficiaries to receive Original Medicare (Parts A and B), plus prescription drug coverage and a number of additional benefits. These plans are offered through private insurance companies like Priority Health, but 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.
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 looking at the different plans.
Your Other Health Care Costs
With $0 Medicare Advantage plans, you won’t have to pay anything for your monthly premium but, similar to other plans, you’ll still have some health care expenses.
Medicare Part B premium: Regardless of which Medicare Advantage plan you’re enrolled in (or what the monthly premium is), 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, 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 It Right For You?
$0 premium Medicare Advantage plans are a great option for Medicare-eligible individuals who are looking to save money each month, but tend to 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, the plans may have higher deductibles than other Medicare Advantage plans. Remember to add your prescription costs into the mix, too.
Weigh your options and see if the $0 Medicare plan is a good option for you.
Learn more about the Priority Health Medicare $0 plan.
Starting to plan for your retirement? Visit our Retirement Starter for the tools and resources to help you get started.