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Traditional Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Plans: Allsup Finds Knowing the Differences Means Savings for People with Disabilities
Date:11/3/2008

tible and co-payment requirements. However, there are many Medicare Advantage plans that offer more coverage protection than Medicare Parts A and B, but have zero extra monthly premiums (above the Part B amount that normally is paid).

Also, Medicare Advantage plans still are generally less expensive than traditional Medicare because they cap the amount of out-of-pocket costs. For example, traditional Medicare plans typically require an individual to personally pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount out of their own pocket. For someone with high medical costs this can quickly add up. Medicare Advantage plans, however, limit annual out-of-pocket expenses, typically between $2,000 and $5,000.

"One of the worst surprises for someone on a fixed income is unexpected costs," said Gada. "Rising living costs already are taking their toll; so to be hit with unplanned medical costs can be truly devastating."

Medicare Advantage Options May Overwhelm Some

While Medicare Advantage plans can provide better coverage, the choices can seem overwhelming. Depending on where someone lives, the Medicare Advantage plan options number in the hundreds. For example, someone living in New York City has 107 health plans to choose from and someone in Miami has 104 plan options.

"It's clear that people really need help in understanding their coverage options and prioritizing their needs so they can make a sound choice," said Gada, adding that in addition to Allsup Medicare Advisor, which provides a custom, printed report on options based on an interview with the individual, individuals also can find information on various plans on the Medicare site.

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