Advantages and Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans

Advantages of Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Most Medicare Advantage plans have low monthly premiums. Some may not charge any monthly premium.
  • Some plans may provide more benefits than are covered under original Medicare.
  • You generally can enroll regardless of your health history, unless you have end-stage renal (kidney) disease.

Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Medicare Advantage plans are annual contracts. Plans may decide not to negotiate or renew their contracts.
  • Plans are annual contracts and may change benefits, increase premiums, and increase copayments at the end of each year.
  • You may have higher annual out-of-pocket expenses than under original Medicare with supplemental insurance coverage.
  • Your current doctors or hospitals may not be network providers or may not agree to accept the plan's payment terms.

Conclusion

Remember, if you are happy with your current coverage, you don't have to make a change.

If you want to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, read all the materials from the plan carefully before enrolling. You should also contact the plan's customer service department before enrolling in the plan. Each plan should provide written information on covered benefits, total costs to you, lists of available providers, and restrictions on access to providers. If it is important to you to stay with a specific doctor or hospital, you should make sure that provider is part of the health plan you choose.

If you have internet access, you can review periodic updates to the Medicare Advantage Plans in Wisconsin booklet on OCI's Web site at oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-099.htm.