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Sunday, October 2nd
If you're shopping for a Medicare Advantage Plan, Humana is one of the names that you'll hear frequently. With coverage available in most locations and as a contracted partner with a wide variety of brokers and referral services, Humana will probably be on the list of companies to consider for your policy.
Informative, Helpful Website
We really like the Humana website as a resource for understanding everything about Medicare Advantage plans. Not sure what a PFFS plan is? Wondering if there's an Advantage plan that doesn't require in-network physicians? You can quickly get that information here. All of the coverage offered by Humana includes hospital stays and emergency transportation, telehealth visits, preventive care and specialist visits, lab work / x-rays / screenings / imaging, outpatient care and procedures, and medical supplies and equipment.
Streamlined Process For Online Quotes
When you enter your zip code, you'll be asked which type of Medicare plan you want: Advantage, Supplement, or Prescription Only? Click on Medicare Advantage and then on the purple Next button. From there, you can indicate if you only want to be shown HMO plans, PPO or Private-Fee-for-Service plans, or if you'd like to be shown all options for which you're qualified in your area. Then, you can either enter your current doctors' names to see if they're in-network, or you can opt to skip that step. Next, you have the option to import your prescriptions from the Medicare website (if you're already enrolled) or enter them manually (if you're new to Medicare) - or again, you can skip this step.
Extra Work To Find Some Details
Using our sample client, a female in Wisconsin who would be turning 65 in a few months, we were given three recommended HMO Medicare Advantage Plans and 11 additional plans to consider. The chart made it very simple to compare the differences among the recommended plans and see what benefits were included. We noticed that our sample medication, Xarelto, was included in all three of the recommended plans (at varying coverage levels), but we had to look through the non-recommended plans to find the ones that included our preferred physician. Monthly premiums ranged from $0 to $120. Unlike many of the insurers and services in our review, Humana didn't display the maximum out of pocket expenses on each policy, leaving prospective clients to click on each plan to find out. Be on the lookout for that before you make a final decision on a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Enroll Online Or With An Agent
We were really happy that customers can complete the entire enrollment process online with Humana, without having to speak with a representative. There's nothing wrong with getting help from a rep, but for those who prefer to do it all on their own or aren't often available during regular business hours, that's a big plus. If you find a plan you prefer and want to get signed up, be sure to have your Medicare number and eligibility dates handy, as well as any supporting documents with information on any other coverage you have (e.g. employer prescription drug coverage).
Slightly Mixed Reputation
Our only hesitation with recommending Humana is the company's reputation. On the one hand, the BBB gives them an "A+" rating and accreditation, which usually indicates that the business is doing a satisfactory job of handling customer issues. Humana's Medical Advantage Plans were also the most often-recommended for our fictitious client in Wisconsin, so clearly their coverage offers a good value for the price. However, we weren't thrilled to see hundreds of complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau, and we spoke with one broker who actually avoids putting clients on Humana plans because of his perspective on how Humana performs in the Medicare marketplace.
Good Options, But Compare Before You Buy
Generally speaking, you can expect to get good coverage and competitive rates when selecting a Medicare Advantage Plan offered by Humana - whether you get that policy through a broker/referral service or directly through the Humana website. You might want to compare policies from a few other big-name providers in your area, just to be sure that Humana is giving you the best coverage available.
As your 65th birthday approaches, it's time to start sorting through your options with respect to Medicare health coverage. Those options include several add-on components, one of which is Medicare Advantage.
What are Medicare Advantage Plans? Essentially, they allow you to take your Part A and B coverage and transfer their management to a private insurance company - often with insurers you may have already used in the past, like UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Although Advantage Plans come with some limitations - most require you to use in-network practitioners to maximize benefits, for example - they can be attractive for a number of reasons.
Think of it like an all-inclusive resort: you might give up some flexibility in exchange for knowing that everything is taken care of, from meals to entertainment, and you don't have to try and cobble together a plan for your perfect vacation. Similarly, Medicare Advantage bundles up a number of features, many times including prescription drug coverage and even dental/vision/hearing services, that otherwise you'd have to piece together on your own with separate standalone plans.
Medicare Advantage premiums vary by provider and by plan. It's possible to get a policy with $0 in monthly payments, but those tend to come with higher out-of-pocket costs like office visit copays and annual deductibles. It's also important to point out that you can't have an Advantage plan and a Medigap policy at the same time: you'll need to carefully consider your situation - anticipated health needs, your income and ability to pay monthly premiums vs. paying for hospitalizations and other major medical expenses, and so forth - to strategize which additional Medicare coverage you need and when.
There are two main approaches to buying a Medicare Advantage Plan: go directly to an insurance company or work with a broker. Buying your policy right from an insurer can feel more reliable, choosing a company you already know and trust, maybe even one that has been your healthcare insurance provider in the past. You can usually count on premium quotes to be the lowest possible for that particular company. However, going through a broker or a referral service doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay more - and you gain the advantage of getting policy quotes from multiple providers at once. No insurance company is going to tell you that you might get better coverage from a competitor!
Either route you choose, it's a good idea to do some research in advance: to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare Advantage Plans, their benefits and their average premium costs for someone in your demographic (age, gender, location, etc.). Otherwise you could find yourself feeling pressured to commit to a policy that might not be the best fit for your needs. There are many websites, offered both by brokers/referral services and by the insurance companies themselves, with helpful articles and tools to help you figure out what coverage is best suited to you. Also, be aware that in order to apply for any Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll need to have your Medicare number - so make sure you've taken the steps to enroll in Medicare before choosing your Advantage coverage.
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Advantage Plans available today. We hope our in-depth evaluations save you some time and hassle - by providing the detailed information you need to select the best provider and plan for your coverage!
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