A man confidently deposits money into his emergency fund, symbolizing financial security in low-income communities with Medicare Advantage.

Empowering Seniors: Enhancing Health and Wellbeing Through Medicare Advantage Plans in Low-Income Communities

Believe it or not, poverty has been reported as a health issue amongst seniors, with 45 percent of adults ages 65 and older being considered impoverished, falling below the poverty level. This is according to a 2015 Kaiser report. The main contributing factors to this number include the availability of financial resources, financial liabilities such as cost of living, the demand for benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, and medical expenses. The report states that older women are slightly more likely than older men to live in poverty amongst this age group, especially women over 80 years old.

A couple of senior citizens engaged in a discussion with their advisor about Medicare Advantage, emphasizing empowerment in low-income communities.

How Poverty Affects Older Adults

Proper healthcare begins with having the financial means to obtain appropriate healthcare services. This includes being able to afford life-saving preventative and diagnostic services, which continue to be a strain, even for those adults who receive no-cost Medicare Parts A and only pay for Medicare Part B. There is another group of seniors who don’t qualify for no-cost Part A and have to pay for both part A and part B. Those seniors are either paying out of pocket for everything or are just not receiving any medical care. This financial deficit is widespread amongst seniors who may not be aware of programs that provide benefits to alleviate some of these health concerns.

Medicare has made significant strides in providing access to affordable care for seniors. In addition to the renowned part A and Part B benefits, part C or Medicare Advantage plans create a noticeable difference in the affordability, accessibility, and scalability of the medical services and benefits available in most areas across the United States.

Part C Coverage

Medicare Advantage plans or Part C are “all-in-one” plans that bundle your Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D (prescription drug plan) into a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage or “MAPD” plan. When you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you still have Medicare Parts A and B in addition to benefits  that may be available to you like a gym membership, home-delivered meals, Part B giveback on social security check monthly, hearing, dental, vision, over-the-counter spending allowance, and much more. Most of these plans have lower rates, and almost all of them come with a maximum out-of-pocket limit that protects the number of financial risks you have with your healthcare needs and services.

A woman undergoing a blood pressure check by a nurse, highlighting health monitoring through her Medicare Advantage plan.

Part C In Perspective

Medicare Part C often puts a limit on the out-of-pocket medical expenses that you have when you have Medicare. Without Medicare Part C, Medicare beneficiaries usually pay 20% of the cost for all medical services like doctor visits, specialist visits, outpatient services, medical supplies, and durable medical equipment like a wheelchair or oxygen tank. In some cases, 20% may be manageable and Medicare recipients may be tempted to remain content in just having Part A and B, but that decision results in paying higher costs and coming out of pocket with more money for medical services.

A significant amount of Part C plans can also provide preventative care services like cancer screening, depression screening, cardiovascular disease screening, diabetes screening and management and much more at no cost. Contact Senior to discover which benefits may be available to you.

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These plans typically increase affordability by putting an annual maximum out-of-pocket spending limit to protect you from strenuous healthcare risks that would otherwise be impossible for you. In addition, instead of paying 20% of your healthcare costs, you will probably only pay a small copay for most services, and in some cases, you won’t have any copays at all.


These plans can offer you flexibility in choosing to save more on out-of-pocket costs with a structured in-network health plan or they can pay higher costs but have the freedom to see any doctor you wish anywhere across the United States. These are HMO plans and PPO plans. A Health Management Organization plan, or HMO plan for short, is a health plan that offers a designated network of doctors that you must see in order for the plan to pay benefits. If you go outside the network, you may foot the bill for any out-of-network services received. An HMO plan also requires you to get referrals from your primary doctor to see other specials, which many Medicare beneficiaries don’t like, but the cost of an HMO plan is generally less expensive and features higher benefit amounts than the alternative.

A Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO plan, is a health plan that can give you the freedom to see any doctor or specialist locally or nationally, without needing a referral, but at a higher cost. These plans will most likely have in-network and out-of-network options for healthcare services, so you may have the choice to pay lower copays by staying in the network.


Medicare Advantage plans grow, evolve, and change every year to offer versatile and broader benefits. Changes may include the availability of Medicare providers, and increased dollar amounts for dental coverage, vision coverage, hearing coverages, over-the-counter spending allowances and in some cases, monthly food allowance.

A Medicare Advantage plan can provide much-needed financial relief, by possibly saving you money on medical expenses, putting money in your pocket, and putting a limit on the health risk that you have with the plan before the plan has to pay 100%. Senior Healthcare Advisors are ready to assist you when picking a plan or if you are running into difficulties. They can also give you a complete analysis of your eligibility of these benefits and help with the process of submitting your application to Medicare to start receiving these benefits.

In conclusion, poverty’s impact on seniors’ health is significant, with nearly half facing financial challenges. Medicare Advantage plans, like Part C, offer a comprehensive solution by bundling healthcare services, often offering lower premiums, and capping out-of-pocket costs. They can provide accessible care, including preventative services, and flexibility in choosing providers. These plans evolve yearly to meet changing healthcare needs, offering financial relief and prioritizing health. For assistance and to explore options, contact Senior Healthcare Advisors at 888-809-2440. Discover a path to better healthcare for seniors in need. 

***Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any further questions or concerns you may have with your provider.***

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