Tuesday, January 19, 2021
What to Expect From the Medicare Advantage Plans

What to Expect From the Medicare Advantage Plans

Many seniors believe that Medicare Advantage Plans can cover them for all their out of pocket medical costs in the future. This is possible, but not without a significant change in the healthcare system management. Currently, Medicare covers everything from prescription drugs to gym memberships. The Medicare Advantage Plans that are currently available cover things like spas and hot tubs. The only thing that they cannot cover is the “excess” benefits that are optional for members.

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Medicare Advantage Plans 

Many seniors believe that Medicare Advantage Plans can cover them for all their out of pocket medical costs in the future. This is possible, but not without a significant change in how our healthcare system currently operates. Currently, Medicare covers everything from prescription drugs to gym memberships. The Medicare Advantage Plans that are currently available cover things like spas and hot tubs. The only thing that they cannot cover is the “excess” benefits that are optional for members.

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What will Medicare Cover? 

Nothing! Even with the addition of premium surcharges, deductibles, coinsurance, and other means, there will be absolutely no increase in the amount that a member has to pay for their health care coverage. Just like that, the concept of “Medicare advantage plans” will cease to exist.

Since there will be absolutely no increase in premiums, it will be challenging for seniors to afford the extra costs associated with Medicare Advantage Plans. The fact is that the additional costs that are levied on senior citizens are entirely unnecessary. Even if there was a need for additional base coverage, there are better ways to ensure against financial disaster. As a result, the concept of the Medicare advantage plan will simply cease to exist.

Although Medicare does not plan on eliminating Medicare advantage plans, it is quite clear that a change is coming. According to the Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Plans will remain similar to how they operate today, with standardized benefits and premiums.” Unfortunately, this is not good news for anyone that wants to continue to receive the coverage. Citizens have been paying for all of these years. Unfortunately, the news isn’t all bad for Medicare advantage plans.

One of the most significant changes that are slated to happen within Medicare advantage plans in the next decade is eliminating the “bronze tier.” 

Currently, you can add eight different bronze levels to an existing coverage policy. Each level provides a different amount of coverage at varying rates. This provides more options for policyholders. However, the addition of the new bronze levels will only affect the premium that policyholders pay.

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Another significant change that will happen within the next ten years comes in telehealth services. Telehealth services will replace in-clinic doctor visits and other outpatient procedures. The reasoning behind this move by Medicare advantage plans is that people who are suffering from chronic conditions or illnesses are often unable to get the time off of work that they need to recover fully. Rather than spending several days at the hospital, they choose to stay at home by a licensed physician or medical professional.

Some of the other smaller changes that will be seen in the next Medicare advantage plans amendment will include coverage for two new types of specialists. In addition to psychosomatic disorders, there is now the addition of mental health specialists to the benefits menu. Also on the list will be hospice services. These cover a wide range of different medical treatments and conditions including palliative care and hospice. While this might seem like a minor change, it represents a broader government’s commitment towards ensuring that Medicare patients have access to the medical assistance they need to survive.

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Perhaps one of the most important decisions to be made regarding the Medicare advantage program in the next critical year will be the addition of prescription drug benefit options. There is currently a stipulation that insurers must offer a specific set of prescription drugs from which only ten percent can be approved. However, under the new laws that will be introduced, providers are permitted to vary the list of drugs that can be included. This means that even more medications, both old and new, will be available to patients in the program.

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