Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Medicare Advantage Plan
You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan during the initial enrollment period, which includes the three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month and the three months after you turn 65. After that, you can only enroll in or make changes to your plan during the annual open enrollment period Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.
As you weigh your Medicare Advantage plan options, make sure to keep these questions in mind.
What will my coverage be?
Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).
Medicare Advantage offers Part A and Part B plus potential benefits* such as:
- Lower copays
- Preventive coverage
- Prescription drug coverage
- No deductibles
- Gym memberships or fitness plans
- Coverage when traveling in the U.S. and overseas
Are prescription drugs covered?
While original Medicare covers a limited number of medications, many Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Is a gym membership or fitness program included?
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer fitness programs or gym memberships or discounts as part of their benefits package at no additional cost, while original Medicare does not.
What are the out-of-pocket costs and rules with my plan?
When comparing Medicare Advantage plans, take note of the expenses you will be responsible for, including any premiums, deductibles, copays and prescription drug costs. The Medicare Advantage plans can also have different guidelines and requirements for how you get services, such as whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to certain providers or facilities that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care. Note that these rules can change each year.
Will my plan cover me when I travel?
Medicare Advantage plans can provide coverage when traveling overseas to fill the gap in coverage by original Medicare. In most cases, original Medicare only covers you when traveling within the United States and its territories.
Which Medicare Advantage plans does Ochsner Clinic accept?
Ochsner Clinic accepts four health plans that offer several Medicare Advantage plans: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Humana, Ochsner Health Plan and Peoples Health, a UnitedHealthcare Company. With an Ochsner-accepted Medicare Advantage plan, Ochsner providers will be in network, which means you will have access to our team of experts, wellness services and electronic medical records. Patients with traditional Medicare and Medicare supplement plans can also receive care at Ochsner.
*Benefits listed are not offered on all plans.
Learn more about Ochsner-accepted Medicare Advantage plans.