How much is too much? We have seen Medicare Advantage premiums increase year after year. Some of the premium increases make you wonder whether you would be better off taking your chances with original Medicare.
In some cases premiums are approaching $200 per month and you may be wondering if putting the premiums in the bank and hoping for the best would be better than paying too much.
But neither one of these options will give you the best protection should you require expensive medical care.
Medicare Advantage out of pocket maximum is one benefit not to over look
The annual out of pocket maximum is one benefit that many Medicare beneficiaries overlook. Annual out of pocket maximums range from the mid-two thousand dollar level to the $700 maximum for 2012 Medicare Advantage plans.
If you are enrolled in original Medicare only in 2012, the Part A Medicare deductible is $1156 and covers hospitalization for the first 60 days. There are additional inpatient copays beyond that. In addition, should you stay with original Medicare you will also be subject to 20% of Medicare covered expenses.
If you choose to pocket the Medicare Advantage premiums by not choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are potentially exposing yourself to some undetermined financial risk.
Better course of action
If you have decided that a Medicare Advantage Plan is right for you, it would be best to do your homework during the Annual Enrollment Period. Compare plans and submit an application between October 15th, and December 7th,. You can start by looking at the Medicare and You publication, or visit Medicare’s official website to compare plans.
Don’t let the threat of high Medicare Advantage premiums deter you from exploring your options.
If you cannot find a reasonably priced Medicare Advantage plan for 2012, then maybe you should consider a Medicare Supplement policy. You will pay a higher premium and will need to select a stand alone Part D prescription drug plan, but you will generally eliminate much of the cost sharing associated with a Medicare Advantage Plan.