Each fall, you receive a new “Medicare and You” handbook with updated information concerning Medicare. The handbook
If you are shopping for Medicare coverage, you need to weigh your options thoughtfully. Reviewing all of the options that are available in your area and choosing one based on your own specific needs will ensure that you have selected the best possible plan. Here are some things you need to know about comparing Medicare health coverage options.
Shopping For Medicare
Medicare plans are not inherently complex, but there are a lot of options to choose from. If you are intending to enroll in an Original Medicare plan, you won’t have much difficulty choosing a plan, as Original Medicare policies are standardized. Though, you may have to make decisions on supplemental coverage, such as prescription drug coverage and Medigap.
If you don’t want to stick with the traditional Original Medicare benefits, you can also choose from one of the many Medicare Advantage alternatives. Medicare Advantage plans are privately administered by insurance companies that have made an agreement with Medicare to provide Medicare members with their health benefits. When you shop for Medicare Advantage plans, you could be overwhelmed with the different types and benefits structures.
Comparing Types Of Medicare Advantage Plans
Here are some different options you may encounter when choosing Medicare Advantage plans:
- Private-fee-for-service – Plans have set fees that health care providers are expected to accept for medical services. Members can only receive care from providers that accept their plan’s terms. In most cases, you won’t need a primary care doctor or referral to see specialists.
- Preferred Provider Organization – These plans allow members to access care outside of their plan’s network, although in-network treatment will likely cost less. In most cases, you won’t need a primary care doctor or referral to see specialists.
- Health Maintenance Organization – These plans allow you to receive care specifically from providers within your network. If the provider is outside of your network, you can only see them for treatment in cases of emergency care, out-of-area urgent care or out-of-area dialysis. You will need a primary care physician and referrals to see specialists.
- Medical Savings Account – This plan allows you to put funds into a health savings account that accrues cash value that can be used to pay for health care expenses. It is coupled with a high deductible plan that provides you with coverage that allows you to access your benefits after paying a substantial deductible out-of-pocket during each benefits period.
Each plan offers different benefits and has different drawbacks. Discuss your options with a qualified Medicare professional to ensure that you get the best policy possible.
If you do decide to enroll in Original Medicare, you may want to supplement your policy with Medicare Supplement Insurance. These plans help you afford out-of-pocket costs that are left after Original Medicare pays their approved portion of your health care costs. There are many options available, each covering a different portion of your costs in exchange for varying levels of premium payment.