Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private companies that have to be approved by Medicare. If you’re nearing retirement age and you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s best you know exactly what you’re getting before you sign up. The information below can help you make an informed decision when it comes to your health during retirement. You’ll discover just what a Medicare Advantage plan actually is to help you determine if it’s right for you.


What Are Medicare Advantage Plans?

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are essentially Medicare Part C, which includes all of the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B. These plans cover both medical costs and hospital stays, and most of them also cover prescription drugs (Medicare Part D). How it works is Medicare pays a fixed amount every month for your care to whichever company you select to host your Medicare Advantage plan. Certain Medicare Advantage Plans offer premiums as low as $0, which means you won’t have to pay out of pocket to cover services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as vision, hearing, and dental benefits.

With a Medicare Advantage plan through Anthem, you’ll get preventative care that includes screenings, regular check-ups, shots, and tests that can protect you from injury or disease. Detecting illnesses early can lead to more effective treatment, which is why you need a comprehensive healthcare plan that provides these services at no extra cost.

How Do You Know If It’s Right For You?

While Medicare Advantage plans might be perfect for some people nearing the retirement age, it’s not right for everyone. To determine whether it’s right for you, considering the following.

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you want to ease the financial burden on your wallet with fewer bills to pay, and you want to keep co-pays and premiums as low as possible, a Medicare Advantage plan might be right for you. This kind of plan might also be right for you if you need access to benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as vision and dental, and you want to combine prescription and medical coverage all into one simple plan.

Medicare Advantage might not be right for you if you have coverage through a union or employer that pays part or all of the costs not covered by Original Medicare or you’re enrolling separately in Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage. Furthermore, a Medicare Advantage plan might not be the right fit for you if you’re planning on signing up for a Medicare Supplement plan like Medigap.

How to Enroll

If you find that a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you, it’s important that you understand when and how to sign up for it. Typically, you’ll need to wait until your initial enrollment period, which is three months before you turn 65, the month of your 65th birthday, or three months after. Keep this in mind if you want to avoid fees, delays, or gaps in coverage.

Once you’re ready, you can apply for Medicare through Social Security’s online portal, by phone, or at your local Social Security office. However, if you’re already receiving Social Security benefits when your 65th birthday rolls around, you’ll be automatically enrolled so you don’t have to do anything.

If you need more information, check out the Medicare Advantage plan resources from Anthem to help you dive deeper into exactly what you’ll be getting and how to get started with the enrollment process.

As you can see, a Medicare Advantage plan can benefit you tremendously during your retirement years by providing the medical care you need at little to no cost. It can also help you take preventative measures to ensure you stay safe and healthy during your golden years. If you think it’s something that might work for you, take the next steps to find out all you need to know before your enrollment period begins.