This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Your Essential Guide To Medicare Advantage For 2013

It's open enrollment -- the period each year when you can choose or change your Medicare health and drug plans. You can enroll or change plans from Oct. 15 until Dec. 7. Whatever changes you make will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Medicare Advantage plans (also called Medicare Part C) are offered by private insurers and cover Part A (hospital stays) and Part B (doctor's visits). Most Medicare Advantage plans also include drug coverage.

If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you can't buy a Medicare supplemental insurance plan (known as Medigap) to pay for your out-of-pocket costs. If the Medicare Advantage plan you choose has drug coverage, you can't buy Part D drug coverage.

The federal government provides an online brochure about Medigap insurance.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage to rise

More seniors than ever are expected to enroll in private Medicare Advantage plans for next year. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expects an 11 percent increase in enrollment. But alarmingly, a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in four seniors aren't even aware of open enrollment.

The federal government expects the average Medicare Advantage premium to increase only $1.47 over 2012. That would bring monthly payments to an average of $32.59. The number of Medicare Advantage plan choices is expected to increase by 7 percent next year.

When Medicare Advantage plan originally started as an alternative to original Medicare, they were basically HMOs, which require subscribers to have gatekeepers to treatment (primary care physicians) to control costs, says Martin Rosen, co-founder of Health Advocate Inc., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., a company that helps people navigate the health care system.

But Medicare Advantage plans have progressed. Today, Rosen says, you can find an Medicare Advantage plan that's a preferred provider organization (PPO).

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,422.75 +35.54 0.20%
S&P 500 2,026.68 -2.87 -0.14%
NASDAQ 4,686.5640 +5.0670 0.11%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs