Medicare Advantage plan is a popular insurance policy among older Americans. According to recent research, 35% of Medicare beneficiaries have chosen Medicare Advantage plans 2024. There are various reasons why people prefer Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare, including better benefits, lower out-of-pocket costs, and prescription drug coverage.
If you are considering enrolling in Medicare Advantage, you must understand the upcoming changes that will take effect in 2024. Here is what you need to know.
The Medicare Advantage Plan Star Rating System
The Star Rating System is a comprehensive evaluation in which Medicare rates Medicare Advantage plans based on the quality and performance of healthcare services provided. This 5-star rating system provides consumers with vital information about the plan’s quality and performance.
The rating system is based on several factors that include satisfaction levels of patients, preventive care, and chronic disease management. Medicare Advantage plans that score 4 stars or higher generally offer better discounts, additional benefits, and more comprehensive coverage.
Changes in Telehealth Services
Medicare Advantage providers are introducing telehealth services to keep the costs low while providing quality healthcare services. With the advent of technology, the number of telehealth services provided by Medicare Advantage providers has increased.
However, there are specific limitations on the types of healthcare services provided through telehealth. For example, Medicare only covers telehealth services offered by medical practitioners. Any telehealth service provided by someone who isn’t a medical practitioner is not covered under the Medicare Advantage plans. Make sure you verify the coverage of telehealth services before you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
New Benefits in 2024
Medicare Advantage plans will have the flexibility to offer new and innovative benefits that fall outside of traditional healthcare services. For example, some Medicare Advantage plans will offer transportation to medical appointments, home modifications such as a wheelchair ramp installation, and home-delivered meals.
However, the new benefits are subject to government regulations and specific approval procedures. It is essential to research the plans’ new benefits to see if they are applicable as per your healthcare needs.
Lower Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Starting in 2024, Medicare Advantage providers will cap out-of-pocket expenses for specific benefits such as prescription drugs and Medicare-covered benefits. As per regulations, the annual limit is being set at $7,550 across all Medicare Advantage plans.
Furthermore, the caps on out-of-pocket expenses will encourage Medicare Advantage providers to offer preventive services and chronic disease management at an early stage, thereby reducing healthcare costs. The lower out-of-pocket expenses mean that more seniors may find Medicare Advantage more affordable than traditional Medicare.
Healthcare Provider Networks
It’s essential to choose a Medicare Advantage Plan provider who has a broad network of healthcare providers. The Provider network is a group of healthcare service providers who have agreed to offer healthcare services for a specific Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans require you to stick to the healthcare providers within their network. If you go outside of the network, you may end up paying more out-of-pocket expenses or risk losing your coverage altogether. Always check whether the healthcare provider you prefer to see is within the network before signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Understanding the changes that will take effect in 2024 can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare. With these changes, there are many new and innovative benefits and lower out-of-pocket expenses to consider. However, it’s essential to research and understand all the changes to make an informed decision about your Medicare Advantage Plan. With proper research and knowledge, you can maximize your Medicare benefits in 2024 and beyond.