What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage plans like the ones offered by Wellcare offer an alternative way to receive your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage while also adding other benefits that are not included in Medicare Part A or B.
In 2022, 48% of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Medicare Part C.1
What Do Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plans Cover?
Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans – like all Medicare Advantage plans – are required to provide the same benefits included in Original Medicare.
In addition, Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans can help cover things you won’t find in Medicare Part A or Part B, such as:
- Dental care
- Vision care
- Prescription drugs
- Hearing aids
- Over-the-counter health items like vitamins and toothpaste
- Transportation to pharmacies and medical appointments
Wellcare has Medicare Advantage plans with all-in-one coverage, $0 premiums and large provider networks.
With a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan:
- You could get some, or all, of your Medicare Part B premium added back to your Social Security check each month.
- You may be able to get $200-$2,500 in extra dental, vision or hearing care every year with the Wellcare Visa Flex card.
- You can access large networks that cover your preferred doctor and specialists.
- You can save money with $0 or low premiums, low deductibles and $0 or low copays for certain services.
Another benefit of a Medicare Advantage plan is an annual out-of-pocket spending limit. That means your Wellcare plan will limit your out-of-pocket spending on covered services and pay for 100% of the cost of covered care for the remainder of the year.
Original Medicare has no out-of-pocket limit, which means beneficiaries could pay for Medicare deductibles, copayments and coinsurance the entire year.
Am I Eligible for a Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plan?
If you are eligible for Original Medicare, you are likely eligible for a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan. To sign up for a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
When Can I Sign Up for a Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plan?
There are a few different opportunities to sign up for a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday and ends three months after your birthday month. This seven-month period is typically the first time you become eligible to enroll in Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan.
Remember, you need to enroll in Original Medicare before you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
The Annual Enrollment Period (also called the fall Medicare open enrollment period) lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year. If you do not enroll in a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan during your IEP, you may have the second opportunity to do so during AEP.
If you have a different Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to switch to a Wellcare plan during AEP if one is available where you live.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
A Special Enrollment Period may be granted at any time of the year if you experience a qualifying life event.
For example, you may qualify for an SEP if:
- You move to a new area that isn’t part of your current plan.
- You lose your current employer-provided health insurance.
- Your current plan is no longer offered.
These are only a few of the reasons you could potentially qualify for an SEP.
What Are the Different Types of Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plans?
Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans come in a few different forms.
- An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan coordinates your care within a network of participating providers. You will choose your Primary Care Physician (PCP) who coordinates your care and issues referrals for specialist visits.
- A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan also features a network of preferred providers, but you may be able to receive coverage outside of the plan’s network and still enjoy some savings. There’s no requirement to use a Primary Care Physician and you won’t need referrals to visit a specialist.
- A D-SNP (Dual-eligible Special Needs Plan) is designed for those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. This type of plan helps coordinate your benefits between the two programs.
- A C-SNP (Chronic condition Special Needs Plan) is for those who suffer from a chronic health condition and is designed to address the specific needs of someone with a particular condition. These plans are available for those under the age of 65 who have received Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months as well as those age 65 and older.
How Can a Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plan Help Me Save?
A Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan can come with a $0 monthly premium, meaning there’s no upfront cost to you to receive your additional benefits. You’ll just have to continue paying your Medicare Part B premium, as Part B enrollment is required of all Medicare Advantage plans.
Some Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans allow you to recoup some or even all of your Part B premium, however. And some Wellcare plans feature low deductibles and low or $0 copays for many services.
Plus, you could get up to $2,500 a year in dental, vision and hearing benefits with a pre-loaded Visa Flex Card that’s included in many Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans.
How Can I Enroll in a Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plan?
We’re here to simplify your Medicare shopping experience and help you learn about the Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans available where you live. We can help you compare local Medicare Advantage plans side by side so you can find the Wellcare plan that works for you.