Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Medicare Plan?

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Medicare Plan?

Medicare Advantage plans provide a wide range of benefits that surpass what is offered by Original Medicare combined with a medigap plan.

The reason behind the additional benefits provided by Medicare Advantage plans at no extra cost lies in their approved contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer private insurance. These plans are obligated to meet or exceed the standards set by CMS for Original Medicare.

The current Medicare Advantage marketplace is highly competitive, with insurance companies investing heavily in TV commercials, radio spots, social media, and print advertisements to capture the attention of the senior population.

While the specific benefits can vary between plans, here are some common advantages you can expect to find in most Medicare Advantage plans:

  1. Gym Membership:
  2. Your plan may grant you access to a selection of local gyms. The gym networks differ depending on the insurance company, with Silver Sneakers and Renew Active being two of the largest networks. These gyms offer various amenities, ranging from basic free weights to high-end facilities with saunas, personal trainers, and pools. Additionally, gym benefits often include exclusive access to brain games and healthy recipes to promote mental sharpness and a healthy diet.

  3. Eye Exam & Vision Coverage:

    Your plan may cover an annual eye exam and provide coverage for glasses or contact lenses. Depending on the plan, you can typically receive a new pair of glasses every one or two years. Furthermore, Medicare covers the cost of glasses following cataract surgery.

  4. Dental Insurance:
  5. Many Medicare Advantage plans cover preventative dental exams every six months and may include coverage for basic and major dental services such as extractions, oral surgery, and dentures. Dual Advantage plans, designed for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid based on income, often provide more extensive dental coverage compared to other Advantage plans.

  6. Personal Emergency Response System:

    Some Medicare Advantage plans offer personal emergency response systems, similar to the ones advertised by Life Alert. These fall protection systems are often linked to cellular service, providing protection beyond the confines of your home. By pressing the button on your lanyard, you can activate the monitored service and receive assistance when needed. This feature is especially valuable for individuals living alone or those at risk of falling.

  7. Over-the-Counter Product Catalog:

    If you require basic over-the-counter products like band-aids, vitamins, or throat lozenges, certain Medicare Advantage plans provide an OTC credit or allowance. You can use this credit on a monthly or quarterly basis to purchase these items. The catalogs typically include a range of products found at local pharmacies, including vitamins, compression socks, walkers, and other aids.

  8. Meals:

    Following a hospital stay, cooking meals can be challenging. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a monthly credit for purchasing groceries or even provide meal delivery services. This benefit ensures that you have access to nutritious meals during your recovery period.

  9. Transportation:

    Accessing reliable transportation for medical appointments can be difficult for some individuals. That’s why many Advantage plans partner with ride-sharing services or transportation companies to offer a set number of visits to approved locations. These approved locations often include hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other medical facilities. If your plan includes transportation benefits, you may receive “one-way trips,” allowing you to get a ride from a family member or friend and still have the health plan’s transportation service pick you up and take you back home.


In conclusion, it’s important to note that your current plan may not include all the available benefits. Contacting an agent can help you determine if you are fully maximizing your Medicare benefits. In certain cases, there may be a Special Election Period to switch plans during the year. If not, you may need to wait until the Annual Election Period or Open Election Period to make changes.