Medicare is the U.S. national health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the gaps in original Medicare coverage. These policies help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medicare Advantage plans are an all-in-one alternative offered by private insurance companies.
If you do chose to use Medicare Advantage, here’s what you should know. The following “extra” benefits are offered by individual Medicare Advantage plans for 2022:
- Eye exams and/or eyeglasses: Provided by 98% of plans
- Fitness benefit: 97%
- Telehealth: 95%
- Hearing exams and/or hearing aids: 95%
- Dental benefit: 94%
- Prescription drug coverage: 89%
- Over-the-counter benefits (for items, such as adhesive or elastic bandages): 81%
- Meal benefit (such as a cooking class, nutrition education or meal delivery): 67%
- Transportation benefits: 38%
- Acupuncture: 36%
- In-home support services: 10%
- Bathroom safety devices: 8%
- Telemonitoring services: 3%
- Support for caregivers of Medicare enrollees: 3%
Switching to Medicare Advantage can be risky for seniors. If they later decide to switch back to original Medicare, they won’t necessarily be able to get the same Medigap policy back — or get a new Medigap policy at all.