Medicare open enrollment season begins today, October 15. As our nation continues to work to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, access to stable health care is more important than ever, especially for Americans 65+ and people with disabilities. Medicare Advantage plans have risen to the challenge for the more than 24 million Americans they cover. By taking decisive action to help members overcome barriers to good health, Medicare Advantage plans continue to deliver better services, better access to care, and better value. This is why 93% of Medicare Advantage members are satisfied with their coverage.
Below are 3 reasons why Americans choose Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage works to ensure Americans 65+ get the care they need by offering additional benefits that traditional Medicare doesn’t, 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.
In the wake of 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 Medicare Advantage member Bill LaForet was diagnosed with COVID-19, his Medicare Advantage plan covered the testing, hospital care, and treatment he needed to recover.
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, most Medicare Advantage health plans will arrange transportation to help members – like Angela Harris – get to and from appointments.
Telehealth services are one of the many ways Medicare Advantage stepped up 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, and in many cases, waived patient cost-sharing for telehealth visits. Using technology like laptops, cell phones and tablets, telehealth services enable Americans 65+ like Betty Streckfuss 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 stable health care. Medicare Advantage covers roughly 12 million Americans 65+ who make less than $30,000 per year – many of whom might not be able to afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with traditional Medicare. For Medicare Advantage members like Florida’s Albert Clark and Wisconsin’s Pat Heim, knowing health care costs won’t be a problem offers peace of mind.
The value offered through Medicare Advantage has been amplified during the COVID-19 crisis as many Medicare Advantages plans have taken steps to protect and support Americans 65+ and people with disabilities. Some Medicare Advantage plans have implemented home delivery of prescription medication, launched programs to help Americans 65+ stay connected, and expanded access to behavioral health services.
For 2020, Medicare Advantage premiums are projected to be at their lowest in 13 years, declining 23% from 2018. Additionally, many features and benefits – including some non-medical services such as covered air conditioning – have been added to Medicare Advantage plans this year, further enhancing their better services, better access to care, and better value. With annual open enrollment beginning today, it’s a good time to think about the benefits you could gain with Medicare Advantage.