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Tips To Find Best Medicare Advantage 2024 Plans

Medicare Advantage 2024

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Medicare Advantage 2024 Information for seniors. Depending on where you live, there are from 15 to 74 different Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to choose from. It can be overwhelming to make what is a very important decision. Here are tips to help you start the process of finding the best Medicare Advantage plan for 2024. Questions to ask:

  1. Does the plan require you use their in-network providers?
  2. Are there specific doctor(s) or hospitals that you would like to use?
  3. Does the plan cover drugs and medications that you know you’ll need?
  4. Are there copays and what’s the maximum cost you’ll potentially face?
  5. What vision and dental benefits are included (if any)?
  6. Does the plan cover any expenses when you travel away from home?
  7. What’s the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) star rating based on customer feedback?

NOTICE: The Association does NOT sell or recommend any specific Medicare plans. We provide the following information to help you make better choices. Medicare is a NATIONAL program but Medicare plan choices are LOCAL.

The Association makes available a national online directory listing local Medicare insurance agents. You simply enter a Zip Code to see who is listed in your area. If you find one you like (or more), you can connect with them directly. NO PERSONAL INFORMATION is entered or gathered.

Use our Checklist below to help you find the best coverage.

How Many Medicare Advantage 2024 Plans Are Available

It depends on where you live. According to the Association’s analysis, here’s how many plans are available for the specified Zip Code (shown in brackets).

  • New York (10012)        44 Plans
  • Los Angeles (90001)   74 Plans
  • Chicago  (60601)           58 Plans
  • Wash. D.C.  (20005)     15 Plans
  • Houston  (77001)          74 Plans
  • Dallas   (75001)             65 Plans
  • San Francisco  (94105)  35 Plans
  • Philadelphia (19050)  68 Plans
  • Phoenix  (85033)          64 Plans
  • Atlanta  (30313)            61 Plans

What’s the Difference Between MA Plans?

There are important differences between each type of Medicare Advantage (MA) plan available today. Here are the 3 letters to look for when comparing your options:

  • HMO or a Health Maintenance Organization plan. These plans are primarily focused around in-network healthcare services. That means they’ll specify who you can see.
  • PPO, a Preferred Provider Organization plan. These MA plans charge different rates depending on whether the services are “in network” or “out of network”.  The “network” is the specified group of providers who contract to provide services for the specific plan.). A PPO plan generally provides more options for you to receive out-of-network care.
  • PFFS or Private Fee-for-Service plans. A PFFS plan allows you receive care from any Medicare approved provider who will accept the approved fee from your plan.
  • SNPs (Special Needs Plans) offer additional help for medical costs associated with specific chronic health conditions. These are often ideal when you have chronic health conditions.
  • MSA (Medicare Savings Account) plans combine a health plan that has a high deductible with a medical savings account.

Your Medicare Advantage Plan Checklist (1-5)

The following will help you better compare your many 2024 MA plan choices.

1. Are your preferred doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies included in the plan’s network?

This will depend on the type of plan you look at. An HMO plan generally specifies who (and what) is in-network. This can be very important should you have specific specialists you currently use. Or, if you have health conditions when you want to see a specialist. For example, the Mayo Clinic recently announced they would no longer accept Medicare Advantage plan patients.

2. Does the MA plan allow you to visit a non-network provider?

Some plans permit you to see out-of-network doctors. Others don’t. Some will have you pay more money out of pocket for these visits. Ask for details.

 3. Does the plan cover prescription drugs?

Today, the majority of Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage (Part D). There can be co-pays. And, make sure the drugs you take are included under the plan you’re considering and what you will have to pay for them.

4.Does the plan offer fitness benefits such as free gym membership?

Many plans do and these can be a great reason to pick a particular plan. But ask which gyms accept the particular plan.

Checklist Continued (5-7)

5. Ask for specifics about dental, vision and hearing benefits?

Most plans will tell you that they provide for these. But the specific benefits can vary. Take dental. Plans generally will cover a check-up. But some plans will even cover more expensive services like implants and periodontal. So, if you have dental needs, it  is very important to ask to see specifically what is included as well as plan limits.

6. Plan costs and your maximum annual exposure?

We probably should have put this first. But, we assume cost is something you’ll ask about. MA plans have a yearly cap on how much you’ll pay out of pocket. For 2024, the out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare Part C plans is $8,850. Note that some plans set lower limits.

7. Are there MA plans to help you with Medicare out-of-pocket costs?

Here’s where it really pays to speak with a Medicare insurance professional, If you have special health care needs, you might consider a Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP). This is a type of MA plan. Some people are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and can enroll in a Dual-Eligible SNP (D-SNP). Those who qualify are either older adults with low income or people living with a disability or end-stage renal disease.

Finding A Medicare Advantage Agent

You can spend hours doing your own research comparing Medicare Advantage plans. Or you can speak to a local, licensed agent.

Here are questions to ask the agent before deciding if you want to work together:

  1. Do you sell Medicare Advantage plans?
  2. How many different MA plans are you appointed to sell?
  3. What is the MA plan you most frequently enroll people in?
  4. How many years have you been licensed and selling MA plans?

When you have a good agent, let him or her compare your options to find the coverage that’s right for you. They earn a commission only when you enroll in a plan. This is built into the plan costs. The agent can not negotiate or get you a special deal.

Agents work at no cost and no obligation to you. Find one to get the benefit of great counsel along with great choices.

Do I Have Best Medicare Plan

Looking for Medicare answer? Find local Medicare insurance agents. Click here to access the Association’s free online directory.