Original Medicare is also called Medicare (parts A and B). It comes from the federal government. It usually only covers about 80% of your medical expenses. To cover the other 20% many people have decided to buy a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are also called part C plans. They almost always include prescription drug coverage as well. Insurance companies love acronyms, so they’re also known as MAPD plans. This is short for Medicare Advantage + Prescription Drugs

Open Enrollment

Between October 15th and December 7th, 2020 you have the option to change your 2021 Nevada Medicare Advantage plan. In Nevada, the “Medicare open enrollment period” only applies to Medicare Advantage plans and part D prescription drug plans. It does NOT apply to Medicare Supplement plans in Nevada.

You cannot buy or change Medicare Supplement plans unless you are:

  • Within 6 months of your 65th birthday. 
  • Eligible through a rare Guaranteed Issue circumstance such as losing employer coverage
  • Able to answer and pass health questions

You can change Medicare Advantage plans every year without health questions. During open enrollment, the application takes less than 5 minutes.

What to compare

When shopping for different 2021 Nevada Medicare Advantage plans there are a few important things to keep in mind. 

Doctors

Which doctors does this work with? Each insurance company will work with a different list of doctors. You can view this list by contacting the representative presenting the plan. 

Premium

Monthly cost (premium) vs. cost to use the medical services (benefits). It’s important to compare the premium vs the benefit. Many people are much too focused on the monthly cost (premium). A lot of 2021 Nevada Medicare Advantage plans in Nevada cost at or near $0 per month. However, you pay for what you get. By spending a small amount, say $20 to $40 per month, you may be able to receive more coverage or a bigger doctor list. 

Prescriptions

What prescriptions do they cover? If you’re taking ongoing prescriptions you’ll definitely want to find out how much they will cost on the new plan. Most 2021 Nevada Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drugs. A separate part D prescription drug plan can NOT be purchased in addition to a 2021 Nevada Medicare Advantage plan. 

HMO or PPO

Is it an HMO or PPO? Many people think that if they purchase a PPO plan they can see whatever doctor they chose. They believe the insurance company will bill similarly regardless of the doctor. This is incorrect. PPO plans have a preferred list of providers (doctors & facilities) they would like you to use. This is why it’s called a Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO. This is more flexible than most HMO plans. Most HMO’s require you to receive a referral from a primary care provider before seeing a specialist. 

 

Don’t get trapped by a short shopping process. Thoroughly evaluating your options with a professional can pay off in the long run.