There are more than 2.1 million people enrolled in Medicare in North Carolina, and 52% of them have a Medicare Advantage plan. Depending on the county you live in, you can choose from 13 to 51 plans in your area. It’s always good to have options, but sometimes it can also be overwhelming. 

In this post, we’ll explore what to look for in a Medicare Advantage plan in North Carolina, so you can feel confident in your health insurance.

Key takeaways:

  • Insurance carriers that offer top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in North Carolina include Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and FirstMedicare Direct.

  • The best Medicare Advantage plan in North Carolina is different for everyone. Your best option depends on the providers, prescription drugs, and services you need covered. If you need help finding the right fit, talk to a Chapter Medicare Advisor. 

How Medicare Advantage plans work

When you first sign up for Medicare you enroll in Original Medicare. Once enrolled, you can choose to stay with Original Medicare or switch to Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are bundled, private alternatives to Original Medicare that cover the same services and often include additional benefits. 

Below are some of the benefits that aren;t included in Original Medicare and make Medicare Advantage plans attractive to Medicare beneficiaries:

Keep in mind that each Medicare Advantage plan has different extra benefits. They also have different premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts that can lead to more or less out-of-pocket costs. If you choose to receive coverage through Medicare Advantage, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your summary of benefits so you know what expenses to expect before you receive care.

Top Medicare Advantage plans in North Carolina

The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) reviews Medicare Advantage plans every year to help beneficiaries compare policies. CMS uses a star-quality rating system and awards 5 stars for the highest quality Medicare Advantage plans and 1 star for the lowest quality Medicare Advantage plans. 

The following insurance carriers received top ratings for Medicare Advantage plans:

  • 5 stars: Humana and UnitedHealthcare

  • 4.5 stars: Alignment Health Plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Care N' Care Insurance Company of North Carolina, Cigna, Experience Health, FirstMedicare Direct, Humana, UnitedHealthcare

While they’re awarded for overall quality, the top rated North Carolina Medicare Advantage plans may not be the best choices for you. Always pick an insurance plan that provides coverage for the doctors, prescriptions, and services that you need. If multiple plans cover your healthcare needs, you can then look at things like extra benefits and star ratings to pick the best plan.

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan in North Carolina

Before you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you should know all the facts and information about your plan. Ask yourself the following questions.

Does your plan cover the services you need in a year? 

Understand what your out-of-pocket costs for services will be. Medicare Advantage plans have varying out-of-pocket costs (copays, coinsurance, and deductibles) but they also have an out-of-pocket maximum. If you need to go to the doctor regularly, pick a plan with a lower maximum out-of-pocket limit or consider a Medigap plan that will reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Does your plan cover providers you want to see? 

You should note that Medicare Advantage plans operate with provider networks. This means that you’re only covered if you see a healthcare provider who accepts your insurance. If you needed to find a new doctor or specialist, the network restriction could cause delays in receiving care.

Does your plan cover prescriptions you need? 

You can get prescription drug coverage included with your Medicare Advantage plan or as a separate plan. No matter which you choose, it's important to make sure your plan covers the medications you take and minimizes your costs. If you need help finding the best and most affordable drug coverage for your medicines, we’ll help you choose the right plan.

Choosing between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare and signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! Talk to a Chapter Medicare Advisor to feel good about your health insurance. Call 855-900-2427 or book a time to compare Medicare plans and enroll in the best North Carolina plan for you.

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