People ages 65 and older and those with qualifying disabilities have until December 7 to choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage which is sold by private insurers.
The Department of Health and Human Services expects the number of people enrolled in Advantage plans to increase by 14 per cent from last year.
Kristine Grow of the health insurance advocacy group America’s Health Insurance Plans says the plans are cheaper and there’s more choice.
“A lot of them have premiums that are falling from the average price and some even have zero premiums at signing. Some also offer dental and vision care,” she said.
Grow says these plans also include new benefits like increased access to virtual visits with providers through telemedicine and in-home meal plan delivery and assistance with medical and daily needs like dressing and eating.
Private insurers can set their own prices and limit the number of providers in network.
People who opt for Medicare Advantage rather than Original Medicare can’t enroll in gap insurance which covers out of pocket expenses.
More than 4 million people were enrolled in Medicare in Florida in 2016 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.