How to Compare Medicare Advantage Plans

Many different Medicare Advantage Plans (a.k.a. Part C plans) are available to seniors. They vary not only from state to state, but also from one insurance company to another. This makes trying to compare Medicare Advantage Plans difficult at best. The most important factors to consider when comparing plans are premium, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximums.

Your premium is the amount you pay the insurance company each month for your coverage. You need your premiums to be affordable, of course, but you also need to make sure you’re getting adequate coverage. Think of the services you typically need each year, and review your explanations of benefits to estimate how much they cost. If your medical services are expensive, it may be worth it to pay a little more in premium in order to make sure you have adequate coverage.

The deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay for your medical expenses from your own bank account each year before your insurance will pay any expenses. Plans with higher deductibles generally have lower premiums and vice versa. The lower premiums might be attractive, but if you have a major medical expense, make sure that you’re confident that you’ll be able to pay the deductible if needed. If something really catastrophic happens, insurance companies cap the amount that you would have to pay out of pocket. Be aware of what that amount is so that–worst case scenario–you can be prepared to pay up to that amount during the year.