As you approach your 65th birthday and begin to think through your Medicare options, the big fork in the road is this:
Do you want to keep Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement plan or do you want to replace it all with a Medicare Advantage plan?
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer to the question because each path has advantages and disadvantages.
Medicare Advantage plans typically have a much lower cost and often include extra benefits (like dental, for example), but they have various copays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Supplement plans, by contrast, tend to cost more each month but have very little out-of-pocket costs to utilize care.
There are other issues, but that’s a good snapshot of that fork in the road.
One thing we always emphasize, however, is that it can be difficult to change your mind if you decide to try Medicare Advantage. That’s because, once you’ve had it a little while, dropping Medicare Advantage in favor of a Medicare Supplement plan requires you to go through medical underwriting – and that’s not always an easy thing as we get older.
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has a Unique Solution to the Medicare Dilemma
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has recently rolled out a new twist on this decision process.
If you enroll in a BCBS Medicare Advantage plan when you turn 65, you will be given the opportunity to move back to a Medicare Supplement plan over the next 36 months without any medical underwriting.
This is great news! There are a couple of caveats:
- Obviously, when switching back to a Medicare Supplement plan, the only guarantee plan (no medical underwriting) would be a plan with BlueCross BlueShield of SC.
- You would only be able to make the switch back during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) or during the first quarter of the year.
This is a great option if you want to see if you like Medicare Advantage, or if you want to take advantage of lower monthly costs for a couple years, but would prefer the lower out-of-pocket expenses of a Medicare supplement plan long term.
If you have questions about any of this, contact us today!