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Is a Medicare Advantage Plan Right for YOU?

Most people understand the basics about Medicare; that Medicare is a federal health insurance program managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in which the government pays your Medicare benefits when you receive them. However, many people do not have a clear understand of Medicare Advantage Plans and how they work.

Basically, Medicare Advantage Plans are a different way for you to get your Medicare benefits. Advantage Plans, sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C, are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. Medicare pays these companies to cover your Medicare benefits and in turn, these companies must follow rules set by Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare.* In addition, many Medicare Advantage Plans offer extra coverage like vision, hearing, dental, and health and wellness programs. Many Plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). All Medicare Advantage Plans cover you for emergency and urgent care services as well.

You must have Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the Medicare Advantage Plan’s service area to be eligible to join. People with end-stage renal disease generally can’t join a Medicare Advantage Plan.

In addition to your Part B premium, you usually pay one monthly premium for the services included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. The total cost of the premiums, copayments and deductibles you pay under a Medicare Advantage Plan is often lower than those same total costs through Original Medicare.

A number of companies offer Plans with “zero premiums.” Although you pay no premiums to the Advantage Plan, you are still responsible for payment of your Medicare Part B premium.

In addition to the monthly premium, you should compare these key points before you enroll:

Medicare Advantage Plans make adjustments in costs and benefits annually so it is important to review all notices from your provider concerning changes. If your plan no longer suits your needs, you can switch to a different Plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Open Enrollment begins this year on October 15 and closes on December 7, 2014.

Where to find more information
It’s a good idea to talk with a trusted insurance professional who can help you compare Plans.  At Mutsko Insurance Services, we offer a full line of health insurance products from many of the nation’s most respected insurance companies. We routinely provide our customers with comparisons to help them select the right Plan. There is never a charge for our services. And, when you purchase through Mutsko Insurance Services, you will have a trusted advisor to turn to if questions arise in the future.

Getting Started with Medicare Class
To help fill any information gaps, consider attending Getting Started with Medicare, a class offered at libraries, community centers and local community colleges. The class covers all the basics about Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans. You can find a complete list of upcoming classes at Preregistration is required by calling the phone number listed for the class you wish to attend.**

Don't give personal information to solicitors
Please be careful. Representatives from Medicare Advantage plans are not allowed to call you to solicit you to enroll in a plan unless you specifically give your permission to be contacted. Also, you should never give out financial information, including credit card or bank account numbers, over the phone.

For more information on Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplements or Medicare Prescription Plans, please contact Laura Mutsko at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC, 6966 Spinach Drive in Mentor, OH. She can be reached at 440-255-5700 or

Laura is a licensed insurance agent and has extensive experience in the insurance industry, much of it in the field of senior products and service. She is a member of the following:
• Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) through the Society of Senior Advisors
• Certified Long-Term Care Professionals
• National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)

*An exception is hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care for those in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
**Some venues charge a fee for the class. These events are only for educational purposes and no plan specific benefits or details will be shared.

Article provided by Laura Mutsko. Laura is a licensed insurance broker offering a full line of health and life insurance products, including Individual, Group and Family Health, Annuities, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage, Vision, Dental and Life Insurance. Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC is located at 6966 Spinach Drive in Mentor, Ohio. Laura can be reached at 440-255-5700 or through email here. For more information, visit her website at or click here to view her Senior Citizen's Guide online profile.


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