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Medicare Advantage Changes Coming in 2019

Medicare Advantage is popular, just about one third of all beneficiaries are enrolled in it nationally. That means roughly 20 million seniors are enjoying the benefits of Medicare Advantage, which is offering more plans every year.

Medicare Advantage is the equivalent of Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers as an alternative to traditional Medicare. Medicare Advantage includes, PPOs and HMOs and covers the same health care services as Medicare Part C. Vision, dental and hearing coverage options in Medicare Advantage plans are often more affordable. This is what beneficiaries love.

The good news do not stop there for beneficiaries. More changes are coming in 2019. Beginning in January, there are going to be extra options that range from adult day-care programs, home health aides to assist with daily living tasks and safety features such as a wheelchair ramps. The new enhancements are intended to help people “age in place.”

While the enhancements are being added they are not going to be available to everyone across the board. The new, added benefits must be prescribed/ordered by a licensed provider for a patients who have specific health care needs that require them. Put another way, Medicare Advantage subscribers cannot decide to get a grab bar for the bathroom just because they would like one. They must have a specific need that mandates a grab bar, such as a high risk of falling or mobility problems.

As with any other change to a Medicare Advantage plan, it is best to ask an insurance agent what would work for your circumstances. It is confusing to figure out what you are able to apply for and what you are not. With 10,000 people turning 65 each day, the number of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries is rising. Know what works for you.