Alabama Medicare Advantage 2015 – 5 Things To Know

What every Alabama Medicare beneficiary needs to know about 2015 Medicare Advantage Plans

Whether you live in Birmingham or Mobile and have several Medicare Advantage Plans available for 2015 or a rural County with only a couple plans, there are certain facts you should be aware of.

It doesn’t matter if you are interested in AARP MedicareComplete, Humana Choice or any other plan available in your area, the 5 things outlined in the video below will apply.

Take a minute to watch this video so you can be up to date on how 2015 Alabama Medicare Advantage Plans work and how they may benefit you.


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Medicare Advantage – Facts for 2015

1. If you are new to Medicare or have never been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan before, you may have heard Advantage Plans referred to as Medicare supplements or supplemental coverage. Nothing is further from the truth. A Medicare Advantage plan is not a Medicare supplement (also known as Medigap), it is merely another way to receive your Medicare benefits.

Private insurance companies contract with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer these private heath plans. Plans must include all Medicare Part A and Part B benefits and may require that you utilize a provider network, such as an HMO or PPO.

2. In order to enroll in a plan you must:

That’s it. There are no medical underwriting requirements other than not having end-stage renal disease.

Plans often include Part D drug coverage and extra benefits not included with original Medicare. You may have a monthly premium for an Alabama Medicare Advantage Plan, but there are often $0 premium plans available. You must continue to pay your Part B premium which is deducted from your Social Security income.

3. You will be subject to strict enrollment periods, with three types of enrollment periods available.

You have a 7 month window in which you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan when you are first eligible for Medicare. This enrollment period begins 3 months prior to the month are both 65 and have Part B coverage.

The Annual Election Period begins on October 15th and runs through December 7th. The details of Medicare Advantage Plans available in 2015 for Alabama will be published on the website October 1st.

You may also be entitled to a Special Enrollment Period at other times due to a change in your circumstances, such as moving from a plan’s service area or losing employer group coverage.

4. Medicare Advantage plans are not standardized like Medicare supplements. Companies offering plans can include extra benefits or set their own cost-sharing amounts as long as they provide all Part A and B benefits. Because of these differences, it’s important to compare plans carefully to ensure that you get the best plan for your circumstances.

Review these plan documents:

5. Be aware that plans can change each year and that because of the current political climate in Washington D.C., the Medicare Advantage program can and probably will undergo changes in the coming years. One of the biggest concerns is that funding will be cut, drastically eliminating plan benefits or increasing monthly premiums.

These potential changes to the Medicare Advantage program should not stop you from enrolling if you find a suitable plan for 2015. If plans non-renew or the program is eliminated (as some in Washington D.C. have proposed), you will be able to return to original Medicare and have the option of buying a Medicare supplement.

If you are interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan for 2015 you can compare plans here.