All available advantage plans have standardized benefits and if your neighbor is on plan A and you get the plan A as well, you will enjoy the same benefits. All these plans are regulated by the federal government. It won´t matter what which health insurance company you enroll to the plan, they are required by law to provide you with specific benefits, already set by the government. One huge part that health insurance companies get to decide on their own and may vary from company to company, is the price of the premium. When trying to enroll to a plan, it is a mistake to believe that the price won´t differ from the ones of another company. In fact, it is strongly recommended to look around and check out several companies. This is how you can compare prices and make sure that you are getting the best deal. What many will wonder is what do these companies base the price on? Is there anything I can do to get a better premium deal at enrollment? Here are the 5 main factors that affect what you will be charged for your Medicare advantage plan:
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- Age: Most premium advantage plans will be based on your age. Not only will age make a difference at the time of your enrollment, it will also make a difference once you´re already enrolled. The older the get, the more you will have to pay for your advantage plan. There are carriers however who will only look at the age you´re in at enrollment and won´t increase as you age.
- Gender: For some carriers, gender will play a role as well. There are premium plans who are cheaper for women than for men. This is due to the statistics, which state that women require less health care services than men and tend to generally have better health.
- Region: Where you live will matter too. Insurance companies will look at the average wealth of the residents living in that region and will set their prices to an amount they believe to be affordable for that specific region.
- Tobacco: Using tobacco for a longer period of time will play a role in your premium rate. Any type of tobacco use is believed to increase the amount you would otherwise pay up to 10% monthly.
- Family: Some carriers offer discounts for family members. This is a way of these carriers trying to get as many members of one family to enroll to one of their products and not choose another carrier instead. This also applies to couples or friends who live in the same house, assuming the family member or friend is over 18 years old.
These and other factors may all affect the price you´re paying for your Medicare advantage plan. While some of the factors one really can´t do anything about, like age, there are still factors that members can influence. One big factor being tobacco consumption. Quitting smoking will save you money even when it comes to your health insurance!