Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) to eligible individuals who desire more coverage than basic Medicare.
Many Advantage plans also include coverage for other medical requirements, such as:
- Coverage for prescription drugs.
- Coverage for dental, vision, and hearing.
- Health and fitness coverage.
- Extra advantages to your health.
If you’ve been looking for a Medicare Advantage plan recently, you’ve probably seen that some of them are touted as “free.” Certain Advantage plans are referred to as “free” since they require no monthly fee to be enrolled. This makes them an appealing proposition for people wishing to save money on their Medicare premiums monthly.
This article will go over what these free Medicare Advantage plans cover, how much they cost, and who is eligible for them.
How is it possible for a Medicare Advantage plan to be free?
Medicare Part C plans with no annual fee are free Medicare Advantage plans. Unlike other Medicare plans, these zero-premium Medicare Advantage plans do not charge a yearly fee to enroll in the plan. In most circumstances, there is no difference in coverage between a free and a premium plan. Most Medicare Part C plans, regardless of price, include parts A and B, prescription medication, and other extra benefits.
So, why do firms provide these Medicare plans with no premiums? A company that contracts with Medicare receives a set amount to pay for Parts A and B insurance. In-network providers can save the organization money, which could be passed on to members. It’s possible that you’ll get a free monthly premium as a result of this. Companies can use these free Medicare Advantage programs to offer attractive discounts to potential enrollees.
Are Medicare Advantage plans with no premiums truly free?
Even though zero-cost Medicare Advantage plans are advertised as free, you will still be responsible for some out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- The monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan: You won’t have to pay a monthly premium if your Medicare Advantage plan is free.
- The monthly premium for Part B: The majority of free Medicare Advantage plans still charge a separate monthly Part B cost. Some insurance plans may cover this cost, while others may not. For most people, the monthly Part B premium is $148.50.
- Deductibles: The majority of Medicare Advantage plans include two types of yearly deductibles. An annual deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. The plan may also charge you a medicine deductible.
- Coinsurance/copayments: Copayments are necessary for most Medicare Advantage programs. A copayment is an out-of-pocket cost that you have to pay every time you get medical care from your doctor. Some plans may also levy a coinsurance fee, which is a proportion of all medical expenses that you must pay.
The cost of Medicare Advantage plans varies depending on their structure. PPO plans, for example, impose various copayment amounts depending on whether your provider is in-network or not. These prices may even fluctuate from year to year. For the past few years, PFFS plans, for example, have seen a slight percentage increase in costs every year.
Do you qualify for Medicare Advantage plans with no monthly premiums?
For free Medicare Advantage plans, there are no requirements. As part of their healthcare plan options, many Advantage plans provide a free monthly premium. When looking for a Medicare Advantage plan in your location, you may usually arrange your options by “Lowest monthly premium” to find zero-cost Medicare Advantage plans.
Keep track of your Medicare Advantage expenses by paying attention to the evidence of coverage and annual notice of change mailings your plan sends you each year. This will allow you to remain on top of any price or charge adjustments.
RESOURCES TO ASSIST IN THE COVERAGE OF MEDICAL COSTS.
Using available resources to help pay or reduce Medicare expenditures is an important strategy to manage Medicare costs. These are some of the resources available:
- Medicaid: More than 10 million people who are low-income or don’t have the financial means to pay for medical bills have benefited from this initiative.
- Medicare Savings Programs: Low-income Medicare Advantage beneficiaries may be eligible for assistance with premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance through these programs.
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income): This benefit provides a monthly payment to persons who have any disability, are blind, or over 65, which can help offset Medicare payments.
- Additional sources of information: Other programs may be for residents of certain US territories or those with high prescription drug costs.
- Private Medicare Advantage plans with no monthly premiums are known as free Medicare Advantage plans.
- Even though these plans say they’re free, you’ll still have to pay for other things, like premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.
- You can browse for no-cost Medicare Advantage plans in your area if you have Medicare, and have in Parts A and B.