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Medicare Advantage (MA), also known as Medicare Part C, are health plans from private insurance companies that are available to people eligible for Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B). are private health plans available to people with Medicare benefits. Unlike Original Medicare, they are not the same in all states. In fact, plans in every North Carolina County are different. For this reason, you must shop and compare plans locally.
You can compare all the available plans in your area by using our zip code lookup tool above or by clicking on your county below. Continue reading to find out more about North Carolina's Medicare Advantage program and how it compares to other options.
Compare the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in North Carolina by County
What are Medicare Advantage Plans and Can I Get One in North Carolina?
The advantages of Medicare Advantage plans are found in what they can cover that Original Medicare cannot. Specifically, the MA plans (aka, Part C of Medicare) available in North Carolina can include minor healthcare benefits such as prescription drug coverage, vision, hearing, dental, fitness, telehealth, and more. In contrast, Original Medicare only covers major medical healthcare services. To join a plan you must first be enrolled in both Medicare Part A is hospital coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. It covers inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also covers limited home healthcare services and hospice care. and Medicare Part B is medical coverage for people with Original Medicare benefits. It covers doctor visits, preventative care, tests, durable medical equipment, and supplies. Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of most medically necessary healthcare services..
Althought the extra benefits, particularly a prescription drug plan, are nice to have, it's important to fully understand what you're getting if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in North Carolina. Specifically, Medicare Advantage is managed care health insurance, and the plan controls your access to healthcare providers. If you have ever had an HMO or PPO plan through your employer's group health insurance, you have a pretty good idea of what managed care health insurance is all about.
Medicare Advantage vs. Original Medicare: Is There a Big Difference?
The best way to understand the differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) is to evaluate the pros and cons of each type of coverage.
Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare: The Pros and Cons
- Doctor Choice:
- Medicare Advantage: Must use healthcare providers within the plan's network.
- Original Medicare: Use any Medicare-approved provider you choose.
- Medicare Advantage: Each plan can charge what they want for copays and coinsurance, making it challenging to compare actual costs.
- Original Medicare: Coinsurance and deductibles are predictable and you can get a Medicare supplement to help pay these costs.
- Medicare Advantage: You're protected by the plan's annual maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) limit. Once you reach this spending limit the plan pays all additional copays and coinsurance for the rest of the year.
- Original Medicare: No out-of-pocket limit.
- Medicare Advantage: Most plans come bundled with a Medicare Part D plans are an option Medicare beneficiaries can use to get prescription drug coverage. Part D plans provide cost-sharing on covered medications in four different phases: deductible, initial coverage, coverage gap, and catastrophic. Each... plan for prescription coverage.
- Original Medicare: You must buy a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan.
- Medicare Advantage: You're covered for travel emergencies within the USA but not for routine doctor visits outside of your home county.
- Original Medicare: You're covered anywhere you go in the USA and its territories.
- There are eligibility requirements with Medicare Advantage plans. For example, you must have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to join, and you cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure, is a condition that causes you to need dialysis or a kidney transplant. People with ESRD are eligible for Medicare coverage regardless of age. (ESRD) or one of a handful of other diseases.
North Carolina Medigap Coverage vs. Medicare Advantage
Three of the most common questions we get from North Carolina seniors are:
- Why are Medicare Advantage plans bad?
- What are the disadvantages of Medicare Advantage plans?
- Is it better to have Medicare Advantage or Medigap?
Let's answer these three questions right now.
Why North Carolina Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad
People that say Medicare Advantage plans are bad simply misunderstand them and don't know how they work. Over 42 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries choose Medicare Advantage enrollment and like their care. However, these plans are not suitable for everyone living in North Carolina.
A good way to figure out which coverage is best for you is to look at your health and your finances. If you have one or more chronic conditions and you can afford a supplement, Original Medicare is private fee-for-service health insurance for people on Medicare. It has two parts. Part A is hospital coverage. Part B is medical coverage. is likely the best option because you have the ability to choose your doctors. Conversely, if you are super healthy, or you are unable to afford a Medicare supplement, then Medicare Advantage is a viable option.
Here's the fundamental truth. Medicare plus a Medigap plan works best for people with chronic health conditions. It's also the best coverage for people who can afford a higher monthly A premium is an amount that an insurance policyholder must pay for coverage. Premiums are typically paid on a monthly basis. In the federal Medicare program, there are four different types of premiums. , even if they rarely see a doctor.
You can learn more about what Medicare supplements are available to you on our North Carolina Medigap Plan Finder page.
Are There Disadvantages to Joining a Medicare Advantage Plan in North Carolina?
As you have already read, both Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare have their benefits. But the two types of coverage are apples and oranges. However, if you remove the issue of doctor choice from the equation, the primary difference is when and how you pay. This fact remains the same no matter what type of Medicare Advantage plan you are considering (e.g., HMO, PPO, PFFS, Cost, or HSA).
With most Medicare Advantage plans, you pay a little each month (the monthly premium) and A copayment, also known as a copay, is a set dollar amount you are required to pay for a medical service. when you use medical services. It does not matter if you have a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan or a Preferred Provider Plan (PPO). You pay the majority of your costs when you use health services.
With most Medigap plans, you pay most of your costs upfront with your monthly premium. As a result, your costs (e.g., the deductible) are more predictable than they might be if you have Medicare Advantage and use a lot of healthcare services
When Should I Consider Medigap Instead of Medicare Advantage?
- If your budget allows, keep your Original Medicare benefits and a Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive Medicare supplement plan available. This plan covers all Original Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, leaving you with no out-of-pocket costs on all Medicare-approved services., G, or N. These are the top 3 best Medigap plans that can help you manage your Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare are the remaining costs that are not covered by the beneficiary's health insurance plan. These costs can come from the beneficiary's monthly premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. the best, giving you complete peace of mind.
- If you are a healthy senior and have good health in your family heritage, Medicare Supplemental Plan N is one of the ten standardized Medigap plans. Although it is one of the newest plans available, Medicare Plan N is quickly becoming a favorite with Baby Boomers aging into their... will let you save money by sharing some costs when you see your doctor. The plan benefits are excellent, and pay just a little to see your doctor (up to $25 per visit).
- If you are a healthy senior but you cannot afford a Medigap Plan F, G, or N, Medicare Advantage is a good choice. Both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage cover preventive care at no additional cost to keep you healthy
- If you are turning age 65, have one or more chronic health conditions that require frequent doctor visits, and you do not qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid is a public health insurance program that provides health care coverage to low-income families and individuals in the United States. (dual eligible), the most Medigap coverage you can afford is the best option.
- If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, regardless of your health condition, Medicare Advantage is your best option.
- If you have special needs (i.e., a full-time nursing home resident, diabetes, etc.) and an appropriate Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP) is available, this is your best option.
- With both Medigap and Medicare Advantage, you must continue to pay your The Medicare Part B premium is the monthly charge paid by beneficiaries for their outpatient medical care, services, and supplies. A beneficiary's premium may be uplifted by an IRMAA surcharge if their income is above... (it typically comes straight out of your Social Security income, unless you're not yet taking it).
- With Medicare Supplements are additional insurance policies that Medicare beneficiaries can purchase to cover the gaps in their Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) health insurance coverage., there are no service area restrictions. With Medicare Advantage, you must receive care within the plan's provider network unless you need emergency care.
- Medicare Advantage plans have an enrollment period. You get an individual enrollment period when you're first eligible. After that, there's an The Annual Enrollment Period is when Medicare beneficiaries can join, drop or change Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. AEP begins on 15 October and ends on 7 December. to switch plans or return to Original Medicare. Medigap plans do not have the same restrictions, but you can be turned down if you leave a Medigap plan and later want to come back. Medicare Advantage plans cannot generally turn you down as a Medicare supplement insurance company can.
Find Plans in your area with your ZIP Code
- Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare | Medicare http://www.medicare.gov/
- Find a Medicare plan https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/
- Medicare Benefits | SSA https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/
- Social Security's Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program helps Medicare beneficiaries pay for their Medicare Part D prescription drugs by paying some of the costs. Also known as "Extra Help", beneficiaries who qualify for LIS receive premium... with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs | SSA https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/
- Medicare Benefits | SSA https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
- Five-Star Quality Rating System | CMS https://www.cms.gov/medicare/provider-enrollment-and-certification/certificat...
- Medicare Open Enrollment | CMS https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Reach-Out/Find-tools-to-help-you-h...
This Medicare Advantage state information page was last updated on .