What You Should Learn About 2018 Medicare Advantage Plans in Florida
Of course, your decision to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans may vary a lot by where you live within Florida. For instance, Medicare Advantage attracted 65 percent of qualified seniors in Miami-Dade County, and this is much higher than the state average of 42 percent.
Nationwide, 2018 Medicare Advantage Plans in Florida are predicted to be most popular in urban areas with concentrated networks of medical providers. A United Healthcare spokesman predicted that 2018 enrollment totals could be as high as 50 percent of all eligible Medicare recipients in the Sunshine State.
According to an article in the Miami Herald on last year’s plans:
- Residents of Miami-Dade could choose from 36 distinct plans.
- Out of these plans, 26 offered a zero premium.
- The article also published a survey from Kaiser that said many of these plans offered access to a limited number of area hospitals. For instance, HMOs may shrink the selection of hospitals in order to keep costs more controlled.
Typically, plans with zero premium or the lowest rates will be more restrictive HMOs. Some people may consider absorbing somewhat higher costs for the flexibility of a PPO. With a PPO, you can choose to visit a doctor or other health provider who isn’t in the network, but even though your services will be covered, you will pay more.
Out of all the insurers that will offer 2018 Medicare Advantage plans in Florida, you will probably notice these insurers because they are active all over the state:
- AARP: If you buy an AARP plan, you are actually buying a United Healthcare plan. UHC has enrolled more Medicare Advantage plan members than any other single company.
- Anthem: Anthem is expected to grow quite a bit because they are buying a Medicare Advantage company called HealthSun. HealthSun has been operating since 2005 and has 40,000 of its own members already enrolled.
- Florida Blue: This Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate in Florida is called Florida Blue. They have maintained a strong presence in the senior health market for decades. Some of their regional PPOs even allow you to access the nationwide network of BCBS medical providers.
The good news about Florida Medicare plans, according to Kaiser, is that that average rates are some of the lowest in the country. Kaiser found that average plans cost Florida beneficiaries only $7 each month, compared to a national average of $36 a month.
This might be partly due to the state enjoying plenty of competition among insurers and health providers for the business of Florida seniors. Often, average costs are higher in areas where network providers are less available. In that case, Medicare beneficiaries may choose more expensive, flexible options.
Qualifying for Next Year’s Florida Medicare Advantage Plans
You may have heard about the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Open Enrollment period in the fall. Even though they overlap a bit, the Medicare Advantage and Part Enrollment period is different. For Medicare Advantage and Part D, Open Enrollment will begin on October 15 and end on December 7 of 2017 to ensure an enrollment date of January 1, 2018.
If you’re just qualifying for Part A and Part B of Original Medicare, you may enroll in current plans when you qualify. You may also take advantage of Special Enrollment Periods in case you lose coverage because a plan pulls out or because you have moved away from a plan’s service area.
How to Learn About Changes to Medicare Advantage Choices in Florida
Many Floridians are attracted to Medicare Advantage because these plans help them control their medical costs and offer low rates or even a zero premium. Others like to use their plan’s network to find convenient doctors, clinics, therapists, and other medical providers in their area. Most of these plans also bundle in drug coverage and other handy benefits that seniors find valuable.
If you have a current Florida Medicare Advantage company, these should send you information about updates to their plan for the coming year. You should make sure that your favorite doctor will remain on your plan, and you should also check to make sure that your prescriptions are still covered the way they were in the past.
If you want to compare rates and benefits, you can use our quote forms to find top providers in your Florida town or city. You can also use our online quote system to learn more about Medicare supplements and Part D drug coverage.