The AARP Medicare advantage program (Part C) is another choice for individuals to consider when it comes to receiving Medicare benefits. In fact, Medicare Advantage comprises various different health plans that fall under HMOs and PPOs. All those plans function through private insurance companies. However, the regulation of those programs is done by Medicare. The plans of the AARP Medicare advantage are available at monthly premiums. That should be paid on top of the Part B premium. However, the most noticeable thing is that some of the plans in certain areas come under zero premiums as well.
AARP Medicare advantage plans are supposed to offer the same benefits included in Part A and Part B of Original Medicare plan. In addition to that, Part D prescription drug coverage is included in the majority of those plans. Nevertheless, there can be some plans that may offer additional benefits that don’t exist in the Original Medicare packages. For instance, it can cover aspects such as routine hearing, dental care and more interestingly, the fitness programs as well.
AARP Medicare advantage plans are not available everywhere. As opposed to the original plan, the Advantage plan is limited to certain geographical areas. As per the general conditions offered by HMOs you will have to see the doctors and healthcare institutes that are recognized by the plan. However, this condition can change upon an emergency. But PPOs let you receive the treatments with more freedom and look for doctors and hospitals that are not included in the network. Because of this very reason, AARP Medicare advantage plans cannot be recommended for those who have to move from one state to another pretty frequently.
Another important aspect related to AARP Medicare advantage plans is that their costs can change every year. For instance, premiums, copays, and deductibles of the plan can change from one year to another. It can be a very smart move if you can compare the plans in your area particularly during the October 15 to December 7 (which is the Open Enrollment period). As a result, you can get an idea of the best deals. So, it allows you to switch from one option to another if required.
If you expect to join with the AARP Medicare advantage plan, the first prerequisite is to be enrolled with Medicare Part A and Part B. Your application will not be rejected no matter what your health status. There is one exception though; you will not be able to join a plan if you suffer from kidney failure (that means the kidney-related issues that may require regular dialysis or kidney transplants). Nevertheless, you are still eligible to receive treatments for a kidney failure under the coverage of the Original Medicare program. As per the plan, Medicare Advantage plans will not incur higher costs (such as deductibles, premiums and copays) depending on your present health condition.
Important: It is important to note that Medicare supplemental insurance will not work with AARP Medicare advantage Plans. So, the out-of-pocket expenses must be paid by yourself.