You might be able to reduce how much you pay for your medical care by signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan. Let’s take a look specifically at Florida Blue Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 and show you not only what they have to offer but also why they might be a good choice for you.
Keep in mind that not every senior who is eligible for Medicare Advantage plans can gain some benefit from them. For many, it is cheaper to just use a different type of insurance or pay out of pocket for the additional medical expenses not already covered. But there are a number of seniors who do save a lot of money by singing up for these admittedly robust plans, and you may be among therm. Don’t you think it is worth looking at your options to see if you are making the right choice?
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How to Get Medicare Advantage Coverage
Not just anyone can sign up for this plan. They are restricted to people who are eligible for Medicare, for the most part. So that means that you need to be at least 65 years old or be diagnosed with end stage renal disease or a disability. If you meet any of those qualifications, then you should be able to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan of your choice an be approved for it without any problem.
You will not be able to sign up through the entire year, however. You have to apply during what are known as enrollment periods. These typically come only once per year and last from October 15th until December 7th. In this period, you can apply for whichever Advantage plan you want, with Florida Blue or someone else. You have to apply directly with the company you want to buy insurance from, and you don’t apply through Medicare, since these plans are different from basic Medicare. They carry that Medicare name, but Medicare is only responsible for crafting and overseeing the palms and not selling them.
Choosing the Right Plan
There is more than one type of Medicare Advantage plan. There are those that offer just the basics, and they only cover what Medicare requires every Medicare Advantage plan to have. Then there are those that cover a whole lot more, adding on coverage they don’t have to, but they do it to stand out and to provide a more comprehensive plan for their customers.
Now, that extra coverage is going to cost you. So, you need make sure that you need all the coverage being offered, and you also want to make sure that you are getting it at a good price. Not every insurance company is offering great rates on their plans, even if they do provide you with a lot of coverage. You need to make sure that extra coverage is worth it, and if you would not be better off just paying for the same medical expenses from your own pockets.
The basic plans will cover you for all of Original Medicare. That would include Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, which covers the majority of common medical expenses. Of course, there are lots of other medical costs they are not covering for you. The basic plans can also cover you for urgently needed medical care (such as lifesaving treatment) and for emergency services (such as emergency room care). All of this makes up the basic plan that every insurance company selling Medicare Advantage has to offer you.
However, they can add some coverage onto that basic plan, if they want to. The most common addition coverage you will see is for Medicare Part D, which is prescription drug coverage. You may also commonly see coverage for annual checkups and for prescription items, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and other similar items.
What Florida Blue Is Offering
Florida Blue Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 may be different from what other insurance companies are offering. They may or may not include that optional, additional coverage. It’s up to Florida Blue as to whether they want to include it. They can change their mind later, though, so even if they don’t have what you want now, they may offer it at a later date.
They can change their prices as well, and their rates will probably change every year or so. If the rates are not to your liking for 2019, you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere, but you might want to come back to them later and see if their rates are the better option for you in the future.
Florida Blue operates as a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. It works independently from other Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance providers, though it does work on the same network and under the same basic framework as its counterparts. It operates solely in Florida, as you might imagine from reading the name, and it will only be something Florida residents are eligible for.
The company has been around for a while and has established a reputation for low rates and good customer service, but you may want to do some research on your own to see what other people’s experience was like with the company. You want to be sure that the company you sign a plan with is really right for you, and you’ll only be able to determine that by spending some time looking into what they have to offer and reading customer reviews about their service.
Florida Blue’s Network
All Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage through a network. That means that certain medical facilities have accepted their coverage and plans and have agreed to be part of their network and others have not. If you go off the network, you may not be covered by your plan. So, if you go to a medical facility for care that has not accepted Florida Blue’s coverage plans, then you may receive no coverage whatsoever and may have to pay completely out of your own pockets for all the care you receive.
There are a couple of network options for you, though, and we will discuss the two most common ones, those that most people are eligible for. Florida Blue may offer more choices than these, but not everyone would be approved for those additional options.
The most common one is the HMO, which you may have heard of. This allows you to receive full coverage at any network facility, once you are signed up for an Advantage Plan with an HMO network option. If you go off the network, you get no coverage whatsoever, unless you had no choice but to be taken there for an emergency. That’s fairly simple and straightforward.
Then you have the PPO plan, which gives you full coverage on the network and partial coverage off the network. That means you can go to a medical facility with a PPO plan, a facility that is not on your insurance company’s network, and still receive some coverage. You will need to pay more for the PPO plan than for the HMO plan, though, as you might imagine.
You should be aware of the options that are available to you, and that includes your network choices. You may not be able to decide which medical facilities accept your coverage plan, but you can decide how much coverage, if any, you want to get when you go off the network for medical treatment. You may not have many choices when it comes to where you get your medical care from, so these kinds of network options can be helpful.
Now you know what Florida Blue Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 offer, and you should have some idea of whether they will be a good choice for you or not.
Florida Blue Medicare Advantage Plans 2019
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