With the addition of Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare C) to the Medicare landscape in 1997, the plan options available have continued to increase each year. On average, each Medicare-eligible senior had access to enroll in 33 Medicare Advantage plan options for the 2021 plan year. As an agent, it is vital to assist your clients by differentiating their options and finding the best plan for their needs.
Senior benefits agents can help narrow the field by using the additional benefits included in many Medicare Advantage plan options. While all Medicare Advantage plans must cover everything Original Medicare covers, many plans offer substantial benefits beyond regular Medicare. From dental to gym memberships, extra Medicare Advantage benefits offer clients an even more personalized and valuable enrollment experience.
Read on to learn about some of the most popular extra benefits offered in Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Coverage
If a senior wants prescription coverage, make sure they understand they cannot be enrolled in Medicare Part D and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time. Fortunately for those interested in Medicare Advantage, most available plan options do include prescription drug benefits. When finding a plan to recommend to a client, get the names and dosages of the prescriptions they currently take and check the coverage for those medications under different plans. By doing a tailored search, you can be sure you are recommending the best plan for them.
Fitness benefits are a popular addition to Medicare Advantage plans. By encouraging seniors to stay fit and active, insurance companies can encourage better healthcare outcomes and a better quality of life for their members.
The fitness benefits offered may vary from discounts for gyms to covering the entire membership fee. Silver Sneakers—a popular fitness program for seniors—provides free access to over 17.000 gyms and is included in many Medicare Advantage plans.
Vision coverage becomes increasingly important for older clients, as they may need corrective lenses for the first time as they age. Many Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for vision services, including eye exams, glasses, and contacts.
Hearing is another area not covered by Original Medicare, but it represents an essential benefit for seniors. Hearing aids specifically can cost thousands of dollars, putting them well outside the budget of many retirees. Finding a plan that offers coverage for hearing devices can be an excellent perk for a Medicare Advantage plan.
Regular preventive dental care is still vital for seniors, and having cleanings included in their Medicare Advantage coverage makes getting them much easier. As a result, most Medicare Advantage offerings do include coverage for dental cleanings. Coverage for restorative dental services (fillings, root canals, crowns) is less common but may still be available in some areas.
Clients may be surprised to learn their Medicare Advantage plan may cover nutritional support and education. Still, over half of Medicare Advantage plans offered for 2021 included some kind of meal benefit. These benefits can range from cooking instruction and dietary counseling to home delivery of prepared meals. While meal benefits are unlikely to be something your client requests, they can help you add benefits to a plan that otherwise fits their needs.
Medicare itself is a fantastic benefit for seniors and has covered Americans for many decades. With the addition of Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare beneficiaries have access to even more valuable coverage options and perks. By working with a licensed agent, senior clients can be sure they will get the most robust plan available while remaining within their budget.
How Do I Learn More?
To learn more about the Medicare Advantage benefits available to seniors, visit American Senior Benefits. Our affiliated agents can help mentor you into establishing a rewarding and profitable career serving this growing demographic.