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6 Key Things to Look for When Researching Medicare Advantage Online

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You’re trying to choose a good-fit Medicare Advantage Plan online, but you’re flooded with information. Not to worry. Focusing on these six things can simplify your research and your decision.

Consider Medicare Plans from Multiple Carriers

You want to make sure you find a plan with the services you need, costs that fit your budget, and preferably great benefits if you can find them. If you only see plans from one insurance provider, you may miss out on a plan that’s a better fit for you. Instead of searching the individual insurance provider websites, we recommend the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal, where you can conveniently compare plans from a number of respected carriers.

Compare Types of Medicare Advantage Online Plans

You may be able to better evaluate Medicare Advantage plans if you clearly understand the categories they typically fall under. These are the four major ones:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)—HMO Plans typically have a network of covered healthcare providers.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)—A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan offers lower costs for care and services with the providers in its network. It still covers out-of-network care, but your costs will be higher.
  • Private Fee-For-Service Plans (PFFS)—Private Fee-For-Service Plans allow you to receive care from any provider who agrees to treat you under the plan’s terms.
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)—Special Needs Plans are limited to people with certain characteristics or medical needs, such as living in a nursing home, being dual eligible, or having diabetes, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), HIV/AIDS, chronic heart failure, or dementia. They typically have a network of providers and must include prescription drug coverage.
Look for Out of the Norm Benefits

Compare Medicare Advantage Plan benefits against all of your needs, not just the common ones. In addition to many including dental, vision and hearing, some plans offer important newer benefits like transportation, home help, or meal delivery.

Review Plan Costs Closely

Costs are typically one of the most important factors in healthcare decisions. In addition to reviewing the premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, keep your big-picture costs in mind. Could you lower your overall costs by choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage included? Could a Medicare Advantage Plan with $0 premiums offer you more benefits than just Original Medicare?

Verify the Network of Healthcare Providers

Many Medicare Advantage Plans have a network of providers that offer lower-cost coverage. You may want to check if your current healthcare providers are included in the networks of the plans you research. If you find a good-fit plan that doesn’t include your providers, you can change providers. But it’s better to make that decision before enrolling in a plan than being surprised after you’re already committed.

Check the Formulary/Prescription Drug List

Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage typically have a formulary, or list of covered prescriptions drugs and prices. You may want to compare your regular prescriptions against the formularies before choosing a plan for Medicare Advantage online.

Get Help with Medicare Advantage Online

Our efforts to make the Medicare Plan enrollment process easier for you don’t stop with tips. Our Medicare Online Enrollment Portal guides you step-by-step through comparing Medicare Advantage Plans and enrolling in the plan of your choice.

If you prefer a personal touch, our Medicare Advocates offer no-cost individual consultations by phone. Just call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.