An Introduction to Medicare Advantage Plans

Shopping for an appropriate and cost-effective insurance plan can be an overwhelming experience. There are many choices but not all options are suitable for everyone. Medicare Advantage Plans have been popularly used since the programs were first introduced in 1997. Also known as “MA Plans” or “Part C,” these programs are part of Medicare. Are you 65 years of age or above? It will be of great benefit to carefully assess whether or not this program is for you, and to contrast its benefits with other health insurance programs.

When it comes to Medicare, you will have to choose between Original Medicare Programs or Medicare Advantage Plans. An easy method for choosing between the two types of programs is to determine if you would like to offset the costs of prescription drugs. In many cases, those who require prescription drugs opt for original Medicare since it does cover the cost of prescription drugs under Part D of the program. On the other hand, the advantage plan does not cover the cost of prescription drugs.

Keep in mind that, for an additional cost, you can add prescription drug coverage on advantage plans. However, you will not be able to add Medigap Insurance to the plan. Medigap is a type of insurance policy that covers aspects of your health insurance that are not covered under an original Medicare plan.

Compare Medigap plans here

So, what benefits do advantage plans provide? Unlike Medigap Insurance, an advantage plan is not supplemental insurance. Instead, this type of insurance is offered through private insurance companies who work with Medicare in order to cover all cost bases. In other words, your Medicare plan will be handled by the private insurance company and you will still be enrolled in your Medicare program. The cost advantage is that you will not need to pay the extra costs of a supplemental plan. Many advantage plans are free for individuals 65 and older who are already enrolled in Medicare Part B or at least offer a more affordable way to pay for all medical costs.

Since many people cannot afford the high cost of supplemental insurance, advantage plans offer an affordable alternative. These programs require a lower monthly premium as long as the beneficiary of the plan agrees to use a set network of healthcare providers and share in some copays for services. Choosing between these different types of plans will depend on how much you can afford on a monthly basis, your personal medical needs, and an understanding of the stipulations set forth by individual insurance plans available in your location.

Understanding the Essential Parts of Medicare

Turning 65 or going on Medicare out of the blue can be a staggering knowledge in one’s life. Combined with that, most make an endeavor, now and again useless, to comprehend the mind boggling universe of Medicare and Medicare insurance. This article is to fill in as a groundwork of the “parts” of Medicare, of which there are at present four, and what they do.


Section A


Section An is the piece of Medicare that everybody gets from paying into the government disability framework amid their working life (as long as they meet the base work sum prerequisites). The essential thing that it covers as inpatient healing center care, and you will some of the time here it alluded to as the “doctor’s facility” some portion of Medicare. Be that as it may, it does likewise cover talented nursing facility mind, home social insurance and hospice facility mind.


Part B


Medicare Part B is discretionary – a great many people who have boss coverage that works with Medicare coverage don’t really require Part B until or unless their manager coverage closes. Medicare Part B has a month to month premium related with it, that is regularly paid out of one’s government managed savings check.


Part B covers “administrations” fundamentally, and it is here and there called the “specialist’s office” some portion of Medicare. A portion of the essential things that it covers incorporate specialist’s administrations, indicative tests, outpatient administrations and exercise based recuperation and some preventive-type screenings.


Part C


Part C is the segment of Medicare that was made over the most recent 10 years. It is some of the time alluded to as “privatized Medicare”, however is principally known as Medicare Advantage. In Part C, a private back up plan that has an agreement with the administration assumes control administration of the greater part of your Medicare benefits. Your benefits are altogether given through this private safety net provider – you pay premiums specifically to this organization and they pay asserts for your sake.


This is a discretionary piece of Medicare. Regardless you need to pay the Part B premium and you don’t out and out “lose” Part An and Part B, yet Part C provides your benefits set up of An and B. Likewise, you can not have (or needn’t bother with) a Medicare Supplement Plans 2018 and Part C – most choose to either have either. Supplements pay AFTER Medicare pays; Medicare Advantage pays INSTEAD of Medicare.


Part D


Part D is the piece of Medicare that you may find out about the most. This is the segment of the Medicare program that spreads prescription drugs. It is offered through privately owned businesses, which must be certified and endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a yearly premise to offer this prescription coverage (Part D).


You pay premiums straightforwardly to the privately owned businesses, albeit most offer the capacity to deduct it consequently from your Social Security check. This is a discretionary piece of Medicare – not every person agrees to accept it when they are first eligible or by any means.

Insurance Tips on Getting Divorced

Married couples completely depend on the health insurance plan of one partner. But, as you get divorced or the divorce comes in the middle ages, you must make new plans as coverage.


Your Divorce settlement should include Insurance

In case you are on your spouse’s plan receiving health coverage and you get divorced means you can put that requirement in the settlement so that you continue to receive the coverage from your former spouse for your children and you.


Even in case the situation is just the opposite. You are filing a divorce and are the one having a health plan covering your spouse. Bear in mind, after getting divorced, you will have to pay additional premium for your children and ex-spouse.



Getting divorced is a hard time for the partners. Yet, when things are unavoidable and you get divorced, there are options for you to enjoy the health coverage for a temporary period of time through a law referred to as ‘COBRA’.


If your former spouse is working with a company having at least 20 employees and his insurance is through his employers, COBRA allow you also to stay on the same plan for a period of 36 months. This is effective unless you enroll or remarry into a new Medicare supplement plans.


The fact cannot be denied that insurance is expensive through COBRA. Actually, it allows you to stay on your spouse’s former plan, but you have to pay all the monthly premiums by yourself, without the employer’s contribution. So it is very important to know what the premiums are and figure out your budget once you are divorced.


Also, to avail the coverage from COBRA, you must inform the health plan administrator within 60 days of your legal separation or divorce proceedings.


Plan with employer


In case you are employed, it may be less expensive to sign up with the plan of your employer, than paying for the Medigap plans premiums of your ex-spouse by the plan. While most plans fail to permit employees to make changes or join to offer coverage outside the yearly period that is referred to by Medicare supplement plans as open enrollment, there may be exceptions made for life changes and this also includes divorce.


Ask the human resources department and get the details with regards to post-divorce coverage and also confirm the period the cover will be available, the term period it will last. If coverage can be arranged under that plan, ensure to understand the premiums cost that you need to pay.


Medicare When You are Married, Divorced, or Widowed

Good news is that Medicare Supplement Plans do not change even with your marriage. There is no difference whether you are married already or are planning to get married or if you are not any longer married.  Yet there are certain things you must know.


Medicare when Married

The Medicare Supplement Plans coverage for a husband and wife may be different certainly. Luckily, Medicare has no family plan, it is all individual plans. Yet, you must be eligible and this is depending on the work history of your spouse. The Medicare for a husband and wife’s coverage does not start at one time, so they need to enrol separately in Medicare, such that one of you may sign up first.


As it excludes family plans and there is no feature of couples getting special rates in Medicare, you will pay the same premium that you have been paying individually. Now, here are something about the costs you must know:


  • Medicare Part A, permits hospital coverage, but no cost to be paid monthly for people who have a spouse who is eligible for social security. However, the Medicare other parts have premiums.
  • Medicare Part B, the medical coverage for outpatient is available, besides the premium is on how much you both earn together. You will pay more for Medicare each month, depending on the more you make.
  • Part C includes Medicare Advantage, such that you and your partner will pay individual premium, copays and deductible. A Medicare Advantage plan issued by a private insurance company now offers you Medicare Part A and B services, while a separate premium is charged and you are eligible for prescription drugs as benefits. You can enroll only when you are eligible for Medicare. However, there is a 7-month period that begins three months prior to turning 65 and ends after 3 months of your birthday and the birthday month or during open enrollment annual period between Oct.15 to Dec 7.

Find out more about open enrollment

Medicare for Widowed or Divorced

If you disqualify for free Medicare Part A based on the work history, you always can qualify depending on the work history of your spouse, even if you are divorced or widowed. If divorced, your marriage must have been for at least 10 years. When you are 65, you become eligible for free Part- A Medicare based on your former spouse, as long as they have a 10 years working history and have paid Medicare taxes duly. You can apply online for Medicare or through local Social Security office before three months of your 65th birthday. However, the premiums must be paid by you for the Medicare coverage for other parts.