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SmartMatch Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Medicare Advantage Plan Reviews

SmartMatch Review 4.5 Star Rating

SmartMatch

4.5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $169 monthly premium
  • $0 to $47/month in prescriptions
  • Broker for insurance
  • Coverage in 50 states
  • Email review of your quotes
  • Friendly reps
  • "A+" rating from the BBB for parent company

SmartMatch remains one of the top rated providers in our review. It's a great option for finding a Medicare Advantage Plan or any other essential Medicare insurance coverage for both you and your family. It serves as a comprehensive destination, offering quotes from various insurance providers, including well-known names like Aetna and Humana. The downsides? The company only works through call-in quotes, so you can't find quotes online, and the number of plans available in our example area was much smaller than at other competitors.

Call for a quote with minimal options

Getting started at SmartMatch is straightforward. First, you just need to put in what kind of plan you're looking for (in this case Medicare Advantage) and then submit your zip code. The site will take you to a quick form to fill out that includes important information like your name, date of birth, location, email, and phone number. Once that's submitted, you'll be asked to wait as they "work on your quote." The most we could find online was that SmartMatch only offered 5 plans in our test area (Illinois), which was disappointing compared to other brokers we've reviewed.

Friendly representatives, but some frustrating rules

It took over 24 hours to hear back from SmartMatch. And when we did, it was a little frustrating. If you're trying to help out a family member, you'll have to make sure that the person you're trying to get an estimate for is actually in the room with you, or that you have power of attorney or SmartMatch won't even speak with you on the topic of Medicare Advantage Plans. In this case, it will be important for the person seeking the plan to be the one to call as SmartMatch's policies appear very strict on this issue. When we called back as our example customer, the service was extremely quick and friendly. During the process, the agent suggested sending us an email to give us a chance to look over the information on our own with no pressure, which was a unique idea. However, this did mean we had to wait longer to get the details of the plans offered by SmartMatch.

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Prescriptions covered by deductible

Based on the information we received in the emails from SmartMatch, the monthly premiums offered for our example customer in the Midwest that include a prescription for Xarelto ranged from $0 to $169 per month in premiums. The cost for the Xarelto (which is a tier 3 prescription) starts from $0 (which means the prescription is covered completely) to $47. Considering this was the only company that offered a tier 3 drug totally covered by the plan, we were fairly impressed with the options at SmartMatch.

Solid scores with some mixed reviews

One of the best features of SmartMatch is that the company has built an impressive reputation. SmartMatch holds accreditation and an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, the ratings have gone down on the BBB site a bit. Previously SmartMatch held a perfect 5-star rating. Now, the score is a concerning 2 stars instead. Many of the complaints included frustration with marketing calls after working with SmartMatch. On the other hand, SmartMatch averaged 4.9 stars out of 5 from third-party review sites like Trustpilot. Customers frequently praised how knowledgeable and friendly the representatives at SmartMatch were.

Solid option with good prices

While the ratings are high, the lack of an online quote system is disappointing. Further, it had fewer options for Medicare Advantage Plans in our selected area than most other companies we reviewed. On the bright side, the company is well-praised for approachability and savings, which we agreed with after speaking to their friendly sales rep. With prices that include prescriptions on some of the $0 monthly premium plans, SmartMatch had some of the best plans for prescriptions on the market. So, with a balance of these factors, SmartMatch stands out as an excellent option for Medicare Advantage Plans in our review.

Which Medicare Advantage Plan Provider is the Best?

If you or a family member is approaching the age of 65, or if you are soon eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, now is the perfect time to start looking at coverage to go along with your Medicare. While standard Medicare covers many of your medical expenses, it may be somewhat expensive. So looking into another option, Medicare Advantage Plans, might be in your best interest.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is an alternative to traditional Medicare offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans provide all the coverage of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) and often include additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Some plans even offer health and wellness programs to encourage preventive care like fitness, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

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Medicare Advantage Plan FAQ

Medicare Advantage Plans are a way of getting your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage through private companies approved by Medicare. These insurers have to follow specific rules in order to participate. These plans typically operate with an HMO or PPO structure, requiring you to use in-network providers for maximum benefits. Some customers appreciate getting their services bundled from an insurance company they already trust, often with extra benefits not found with Original Medicare.
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, and there's a plan that is available where you live, you're eligible for Medicare Advantage. Bear in mind that Advantage policies are almost always network-based: if you live in another state during the year, your plan may not offer benefits in both places.
Yes! You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan either when you first sign up for Medicare A & B or during the yearly enrollment period from October 15 through December 7. Once you're enrolled in a plan, you can switch to a different one or back to Original Medicare from January 1 through March 31. There are also special enrollment periods for certain life events, like moving to a different address, losing your current coverage, or your contract not being renewed.
There are many differences between these two types of additional Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap, are designed to pay the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare itself. These plans don't include prescription drugs, tend to have higher premiums than Advantage coverage, and you'll pay more if you don't enroll early on in your Medicare coverage. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage Plans are usually much lower in premiums and higher in out-of-pocket costs. Advantage policies often have prescription drug benefits. But, Medicare Advantage doesn't pay any of the costs that original Medicare doesn't cover. You can't be enrolled in both a Medigap plan and an Advantage plan at the same time.
That depends on the plan you select. However, one of the reasons Advantage plans are so attractive is because many of them do include dental, vision, or hearing benefits - or all three!
That also depends on the plan you choose. Almost every Medicare Advantage plan will still have out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions. When getting a quote, have your medications handy: many online quote platforms and insurance brokers will ask for the name and dosage, to provide you with an accurate estimate of what you'll spend for those specific prescriptions with a given Advantage policy.
Believe it or not, there are Medicare Advantage policies that have $0 monthly premiums. Of course, you get what you pay for - and if you want broader coverage and lower deductibles/out-of-pocket costs, your premiums will be higher.
That's a matter of preference. But, it can be helpful to start your search by using a website that offers quotes from multiple insurers, so that you can get a feel for what's available in your area. Many of these referring websites can walk you through the entire application process with any company you select, without pressuring you to choose one over another. On the other hand, if you already know which insurer you want - or maybe there's only one available where you live - there's nothing wrong with getting your plan right from the insurance company.
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Continued from above...

One way to think of a Medicare Advantage Plan is like an all-inclusive resort stay. While you need to stick with a particular hotel (or, in this case, medical network), everything is handled for you from basic meals to entertainment (or prescriptions and medical specialists). Much like an all-inclusive resort experience, Medicare Advantage consolidates various features of Medicare, so your prescription drug coverage and services like dental, vision, and hearing are all taken care of in one place. These elements would typically require piecing together separate standalone plans which can be complicated and frustrating. Instead, you can get everything you need at once.

Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans change based on the provider and the specific plan. While you might find policies with $0 monthly payments, they can come with increased out-of-pocket expenses, such as office visit copays and annual deductibles. However, basics like primary care and prescriptions are often partially (if not completely) covered. On the other hand, if you're looking to see a specialist, you might prefer a plan with a higher premium to cover the cost of those visits.

When it comes to signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are two ways to find what you need: approaching an insurance company directly or collaborating with a broker. Choosing an insurer you already know and trust, potentially one that has been your healthcare provider before, might be the best way to go if you're looking for peace of mind and security. Typically, you can rely on getting the lowest possible premium quotes from that particular company. However, going through a broker or referral service can help you compare policies from different insurers at a glance. In this case, you might find better coverage from a competitor, and you can trust the broker to work on your behalf.

Regardless of the path you choose, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare Advantage Plans, their benefits, and average premium costs for your demographic (age, gender, location). This helps you avoid feeling pressured to commit to a policy that may not align with your needs. Keep in mind that to apply for any Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll need your Medicare number, so make sure you complete the necessary steps to enroll in Medicare (A and B) before selecting your Advantage coverage.

If all of this sounds like a lot, don't worry. We've got your back. To simplify the process of finding Medicare Advantage Plans that are worth your time, we've put together a few criteria that might help you sort it all out:

  • Cost. When it comes to the cost of Medicare Advantage Plans, your health and your pre-existing conditions or your prescriptions may change the costs depending on which company you choose. While many options offer a $0 premium, you'll want to be sure that the premium includes all the benefits you're looking for. So, keep an eye on the deals and benefits to make sure the cost is worth it. Sometimes your prescriptions might cost less with different plans too, so watch out for those monthly costs as you research.
  • Coverage. There are tons of different plans and different names to choose from. As you look through Medicare Advantage Plans, make sure that you spend your time researching providers that offer coverage in your state. You'll also want to make sure that if you need prescription coverage, that's included in the options, as well as your primary care physician if you don't want to switch to someone else "in-network" .
  • Reputation. To get a smooth and stress-free experience, we recommend checking out reputable companies first. Whether you go through an insurance company directly or a broker, customer reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings can give you insight into a company's practices. If customers like you are happy (or unhappy) it can help you choose the best match for you.

To help you keep it simple and focus on your health and well-being, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Advantage Plans available today. This way, you can save time and money as you join (or change to) a new plan. We hope our research will help you find the best deals, the friendliest reps, and the top coverage so you can enjoy your golden years stress-free!

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