Presently, the health insurance scenario in the country is pretty obscure. To figure one’s way out through the multiple coverage plans, along with all the jargons tossed around can be quite challenging, especially for seniors. Seniors aged 65 or above have their own separate health insurance branch known as Medicare. Bifurcated into 4 sections, Part A, B, C, and D, Medicare is administered by the federal government. Part A and B are known as the Original Medicare which is entirely overseen by government agencies. On the other hand, if seniors wish to render additional medical benefits which are not covered under the Original Medicare, they can enroll for Part C (Advantage Plans) or Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage). However, these are handled by private providers that are approved by the Original Medicare.
Choosing the best Medicare plan
If you are thinking to opt for Medicare Part C or Part D, you need to be careful while shopping for plans across providers. This is because their plans not be comprehensive or might not deliver quality services. To help you make the best pick, here are the four factors you should scrutinize while looking for Medicare plans.
- Costs – Check what kind of costs are involved in the plan proposed. For instance, verify the expected figure of deductibles, premiums and other out-of-pocket expenses such as copays and coinsurance. Also, inquire if there is an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs.
- Services covered – The whole point of enrolling in a Part C or D program is to get access to services that aren’t included in the Original Medicare. Therefore, inspect if your desired service is listed in the provider’s plan and how they are intending to cover it. Likewise, consider factors like waiting periods and estimated out-of-pocket expenses while comparing plans.
- Quality of care – Ensure that the prospective insurer has good ratings from Medicare, other recognized agencies, and its current clients. The best-rated Medicare plans have a solid customer support, good network of doctors, simple claims process and access to excellent medical amenities.
- Coverage limit – Usually, both the Original Medicare and private insurers for Part C and D don’t compensate for medical care outside the country. However, check if the private provider will pay for your medical costs in other states.
Top three providers offering best-rated Medicare plans
To make your search a little easy, here are some providers offering the best-rated Medicare plans for the year 2018.
For over 70 years, Kaiser Permanente has been offering health care plans to the public. In 2017 alone, they had approximately had a network of 21,000 doctors managing approximately 11 million policyholders. At the moment, they operate in eight states including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Georgia, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington. They have one of the best-rated Medicare plans as they ensure high quality of services within affordable prices. Some of their plan’s key features comprise zero copay for preventive care and fixed out-of-pocket expenses for protecting clients from runaway costs. Their Medicare plan also has low copays for prescription medicines. Since they offer reasonable prices you can add extra benefits like vision, dental, and hearing. They have the highest Medicare Star Quality Ratings in the seven states they serve. Moreover, they have the 5/5 rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for their impressive customer service.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
The Blue Cross Blue Shield is an alliance of 36 separate medical insurance organizations, providing coverage to more the 106 million individuals. BCBS has an expansive network across the country and they offer a variety of Medicare plans as well. It gives its clients discounts in numerous health and wellness programs. This best-rated Medicare plan provider has won several accolades from APEX, eHealthcare Leadership, Stevie, ClearMark, and Forrester. Likewise, each of its state department (such as Alabama, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) has managed to stand out in its region by securing various state-level honors. BCBS has satisfactory Medicare Star Quality Ratings at an overall level.
One of the biggest healthcare companies in the world, UnitedHealthcare is worth around $229 billion. They cover a range of health insurance plans for individuals, families, employers, and seniors, aiming to provide stable premiums and additional memberships for the enrolled clients at no extra cost. UnitedHealthcare offers its insurance services across all the 50 states. Furthermore, they offer optional benefits related to vision, dental and hearing at reduced costs. Its Medicare Advantage plans cover prescription as well and don’t require a separate premium to be paid. UnitedHealthcare has various accolades to its name including being the Civic 50’s one of the most community-minded companies. They also ranked at the 5th position in the Fortune 500 list for companies. UnitedHealthcare has an average score of 4/5 by the Medicare Star Quality Ratings.