Medicare open enrollment season began on October 15. As our nation continues to work to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, access to high-quality, affordable health care is more important than ever, especially for Americans 65+ and people with disabilities. Medicare Advantage has risen to the challenge for 27 million Americans they cover by continuing to deliver better services, better access to care, and better value. This is why 94% of Medicare Advantage members are satisfied with their coverage, and why a growing number of Americans are choosing Medicare Advantage, including more than half of eligible Americans in Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, and Puerto Rico.
Below are 3 reasons why Americans choose Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage works to ensure Americans 65+ and those with disabilities get the care they need by offering additional benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as integrated vision, hearing, dental, wellness programs, in-home caregiver support, and innovative telehealth options. Most Medicare Advantage plans also include comprehensive prescription drug coverage, with many offering this coverage at no additional cost. Coalition for Medicare Choices member Deb Wooley says that Medicare Advantage’s prescription delivery benefit has made it really easy and affordable to get the medicines she needs.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Medicare Advantage plans took action to ensure members had access to necessary services, including waiving the cost of diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Many Medicare Advantage plans also eliminated patient cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment. When Coalition for Medicare Choices member Betty Speed was diagnosed with COVID-19, her Medicare Advantage plan provided telehealth visits with her physician, so she could get the care she needed to recover without leaving her home.
Better Access to Care
From treatments for the very ill to fitness benefits for the active, Medicare Advantage helps members access the care they need. And if getting to care is a problem, Medicare Advantage supports members – like Charlene Dais – through transportation to and from appointments.
Telehealth services are one of the many ways Medicare Advantage helped Americans 65+ and people with disabilities stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Telehealth appointments allowed members to access care from the safety of their home. Medicare Advantage plans expanded access to telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth, and in many cases, waived patient cost-sharing for telehealth visits. Using technology like laptops, cell phones, and tablets, telehealth services enable Americans 65+ and those with disabilities to consult with a doctor while avoiding the risk of spreading infection.
Medicare Advantage plans cap out-of-pocket costs for members, which helps those living on a fixed income access high-quality health care. In fact, 40% of Medicare Advantage members make less than $25,000 per year – many of whom might not be able to afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with original Medicare. For Coalition for Medicare Choices members like Oralander Truly, knowing health care costs won’t be a problem offers peace of mind.
For 2022, Medicare Advantage premiums are projected to decrease another 10%, dropping to an average premium of just $19 per month. Additionally, many features and benefits – including some non-medical services such as the grocery delivery that Charlene and Herbert Love call “a blessing” – have been added to Medicare Advantage plans this year. Taken all together, these features further enhance Medicare Advantage’s reputation for better services, better access to care, and better value.
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