Some Medicare advantage plans are considered to be better than others. While we can’t tell you which plan is best for you, we can tell you about the Medicare Advantage 5 Star plans for 2019 and what they are offering. We’ll also show you how to find these and sign up for them, if you are interested.
What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare has a few different types of plans available that it has created. It does not sell all of them, but it has designed quite a few different plans, and Advantage plans tends to be the most comprehensive. They cover medical expenses that are already covered by other plans, but they also cover expense not covered by any other plans. They also come in a few varieties and a few coverage levels. The most basic plans will cover you for all of Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as for emergency medical care and your urgently needed care.
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That powerful coverage goes far beyond what a basic Medicare plan would cover. It can overlap with some of the other plans, though, so you may not be able to sign up for another medical insurance plan at the same time. For instance, many Medicare Advantage plans come with Medicare Part D coverage, which takes care of a lot of prescription drug costs. You could buy Part D on its own, so if you already have that plan, then you wouldn’t need or be able to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan with the same coverage included.
Advantage plans can cover some other medical expenses as well, but what those are and how many of them are covered are more or less up to the insurance companies that sell them. Those companies have to abide by Medicare’s rules regarding Medicare Advantage plans, but they do have seem leeway as to how much they will charge for the plans and what kind of coverage they want to include, beyond the basics.
What Are Medicare 5-Star Plans?
From the different Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare picks out those that are the best rated. They source information from customers, doctors and other places getting feedback and finding out which plans cover people the best and have the best rates. The plans that are seen in the most positive light by those who have firsthand experience with them are considered to be 5-star plans These are the ones that consistently rank well throughout the year.
The rankings are updated each year, so the list stays fresh, so that customers can see which plans are doing well that year. If a plan falls too far down the rankings, then Medicare may opt to get rid of that plan entirely, but only a select few plans get the 5-star ranking.
This ranking doesn’t necessarily denote that a particular plan is right for most people, since the higher rated plans could be higher coverage plans, and not everyone needs all that coverage. They may also not cover some people in the right way, covering the kinds of expenses they don’t face and not covering some of the more important expenses for that person. Each individual needs to examine the plans for themselves and ensure that they get the right plan, not basing their subscription decision solely on what Medicare has listed as the best plans.
Medicare Advantage 5-star plans are not going to be the same list each year. As they are updated, some of the plans from 2018 may fall off the list, and some new plans may take their post. Only the best of the best get to enjoy this classification, and these would be specific plans being sold by specific insurance companies.
You should know that every insurance company gets to set their rates and decide how much coverage the Advantage plans come with. Well, Medicare Advantage 5-star plans for 2018 are not necessarily going to be the same plans that are on this list for 2019. Some of the plans that were at the top of the list may have fallen out of favor over the past months, and they may no longer be considered very good plans. This can occur because of changing trends in finances and medical needs or it could be because better plans are being discovered that trump those that are currently on the 5-star list. Whatever the case, this is a list that is always in flux, and consumers should be paying attention to it when they go to sign up for medical insurance.
How to Get a 5 Star Plan
Consumers can sign up for Medicare Advantage 5-star plans in the same way they would for any other Medicare advantage plan or those Medicare plans that Medicare creates but does not sell. They simply need to go to the insurance company that sells the plan and apply through them. They can visit the company’s website and fill out an application form. Then they just need to wait on a reply. Most people over 65 who apply for a Medicare plan of any kind are approved, but if you have any overlapping coverage from another medical insurance plan, then you will have to drop that to be eligible for the new plan.
You have to apply during the right times, and the enrollment period for Medicare Advantage starts on October 15 and runs all the way through December 7th. Signing up for a plan during that period means that the plan will go in effect once you enter the new year.
You may be able to sign up outside the normal enrollment period for 5-star palms. This does not happen often, but Medicare may make an exception you, and if you would like to know if you qualify, then you can simply talk to a Medicare insurance agent for verification. You can also find out if you qualify for early Medicare, which is available to those who are not 65 yet but who have a disability or who suffer from end stage rental disease.
Keep in mind that even if you do sign up for a 5-star plan, your preexisting medical conditions can factor into how much you pay for the plan. You may also have to pay more than other people do for the plan because of where you live. Some plans are more expensive in some places than others due to the cost of living there or the kind of competition the insurance company faces in that area of the country.
Who Needs a 5 Star Plan?
It would make sense to think that everyone would benefit from the best plans, but that’s not always the case. That’s because the definition of the best plan can change depending on what your personal situation is. If you have very few medical expenses and you are in good health, then you may not even need a Medicare Advantage plan. These are plans that are usually reserved for people with a lot of medical expenses to pay.
There may be better choices for medical insurance available to you, and you should look into those before you rush into buying a plan just because it is considered a good one. What is good for one person may not be suitable for someone else.
The Medicare Advantage 5-star plans for 2018 are not something that you can sign up for any more. You have to get 2019 plans now, which will take effect at the beginning next year, but many of those will be the same plans from 2018. If you were already signed up for one of these, then it may still be the best plan for you moving forward, but you should definitely reevaluate your coverage plan each year to ensure that you still have the most suitable plan.
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