Medicare advantage plans are offered to those, who are already enrolled to a Medicare part A or part B. Only after enrolling to one of these plans first, will an insurance company be able to provide you with advantage plans. When it comes to the advantage ones, there are also some criteria you would have to take in consideration. In general, federal law only requires the companies to provide these services to citizens and legal residents who are 65 or older. To anyone younger than that, the company may or may not deny enrollment. Some states have therefore passed a legislation, requiring the health insurance companies to provide at least one advantage plans for those who are younger as well. In these cases, the health insurance company is allowed to look at your health state and previous or current conditions. Based upon this, the premium rate will be set. In some cases, although enrollment is available, it will be only at a very high premium cost, not making it rentable at all!
Here is why timing makes a difference
With all these criteria affecting the cost of your premium rate, many are left wondering if there are any tricks and tips on saving money. Timing is one of these tricks and indeed, there is a time considered to be best for enrollment. This is the time during your Medcare Open Enrollment. The open enrollment period is the period of 6 months, starting from the day when you turn 65. What makes this time period best, is that federal law requires the health insurance companies to enroll you to a plan, without looking at your health state and medical history first. If you have been only provided with high premium rates so-far, due to an existing condition, this time is the best to enroll as the rates are not allowed to be higher due to an existing condition. Missing this period of six months would bring you to the point you were at before turning 65. All the rights would disappear and the insurance companies will be allowed to charge you more or even fully deny you enrollment to one of their plans.
What also makes a difference
Apart from your age and in the above-mentioned cases, medical history, other influences may affect how much you would need to pay for a premium plan as well. One example is the area you live in. The same plans may cost different in different areas. This is, because, the health insurance companies mostly base the prices on what they believe the average citizen of that area can afford. Some companies base the price upon your gender as well. As statistics show that women have an overall better health state, rates might be higher for men than for women. People who use tobacco and don´t have any health conditions due to it, might still need to pay more. In fact, in most cases they will, as health insurance companies charge up to 10% more those, who regularly consume any type of tobacco product.