A new HealthPocket analysis found that patients with Medicare Advantage plans are receiving more benefits than those with traditional Medicare. According to BenefitsPro, 97 percent of Medicare Advantage plans provide a minimum of one extra benefit not covered by Medicare such as vision, dental or hearing while 42 percent of advantage plans include extra coverage for those benefits.
"While most Medicare Advantage plans included extra insurance benefits not in original Medicare Parts A and B, there was considerable variation for cost-sharing among these benefits as well as the extent of coverage," HealthPocket data researcher Jesse Geneson told the source. "Consumers should review coverage details carefully before enrolling."
The HealthPocket analysis found that 94 percent of Advantage plans offer some form of vision insurance while dental coverage was offered by 71 percent of plans. The analysis also found that 59 percent of Medicare Advantage plans provide beneficiaries with a form of hearing coverage.
What to know about Medicare Advantage
If you've chosen a Medicare Advantage plan rather than going with Original Medicare, there are some things you should know about your coverage.
Beneficiaries with Medicare Advantage should not tell their physician or health care provider they have Medicare before checking their plan as the coverage may not be the same. There are not as many providers that accept Medicare Advantage compared to Original Medicare. The government doesn't pay claims for those who have a Medicare Advantage plan so you'll want to make sure your doctor's office knows the type of coverage you have.
While Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, they may also include additional services such as vision, dental, hearing and prescription drugs.
If you have a Health Management Organization (HMO) Medicare Advantage plan then you must receive services from a provider in your network. There's also a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) that means you can see a doctor out of network but your costs may be higher.
When a beneficiary turns to Medicare Advantage, there's the possibility they may be required to pay a higher share of cost. When you have Original Medicare there are prescription discounts, a 20 percent copay and a yearly limit on out-of-pocket costs.
Of course, it's essential to review your own health needs to determine what type of Medicare coverage is best for you.