Just deciding which strategy to use when selecting from the combination of different types of healthcare coverage is confusing for many people entitled to Medicare. For many people, having choices is a very good thing. But what about when you have tens and thousands of plans to choose from?
When it comes to Medicare, you have only choices. Depending upon your circumstances, you may want to stay with traditional Medicare, or Medicare Parts A and B. If you decide on this path, you’ll probably want to get a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, too, to make certain your medications are covered. Or, you may be more enthusiastic about a Medicare Advantage plan, which could combine traditional Medicare with drug coverage and other benefits. In addition, you may be thinking about much more coverage, such as that offered through a Medigap (supplemental) plan.
Fortunately, help is available. A Medicare advisor offers education on available Medicare programs, answers questions, and offers detailed plans of action to get the absolute most out of your insurance choices. In addition, you should know the basics beforehand.
Medicare Parts A and B, also referred to as traditional or original Medicare, have been with us since 1965. Medicare Part A is free to most people who’ve worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years and provides people with inpatient hospital coverage. Medicare Part B, which costs many people $96.40 in 2009, covers outpatient medical expenses.
People who have traditional Medicare Myaarpmedicare Login can see any doctor they want in virtually any facility they want without a referral, so long as that doctor or facility accepts Medicare patients. But traditional Medicare’s benefits are limited.
Not just does traditional Medicare not cover most outpatient prescription drugs, in case a beneficiary uses their coverage frequently enough, it will get very costly. That’s why we also have Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans available.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage, also referred to as Medicare Part C, combines Medicare Parts A and B in one plan so you can get your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage in exactly the same place. Medicare Advantage plans also often include prescription drug coverage and other benefits not commonly found under traditional Medicare, such as vision and dental services.
This program works the same as private insurance – you have different types of plans to choose from dependant on what sort of provider access you want (for example, health management organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and more) and what health conditions or prescription drugs you take. In addition, you can choose from a number of different quantities of coverage. All Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least as much coverage as that offered under traditional Medicare. If they offer prescription drug coverage, that coverage must meet minimum Medicare Part D standards as well.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Like Medicare Advantage, Part D exists by private companies that are reimbursed for providing healthcare coverage. Also like Medicare Advantage, a minimum amount of coverage is needed for an agenda to qualify as a Part D plan and numerous plans, some with various quantities of coverage, are offered through the entire United States. Part D plans are best for people who use prescriptions, but don’t need certainly to see their doctors often.
Medigap Medigap, or Medicare supplemental plans, comes by private companies to fill the “gaps” in traditional Medicare. This includes the expense of deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. Additionally it may cover other services that Medicare doesn’t insure. In 2009, you can find 12 Medigap plans – A through L.
Although Medigap may offer some additional coverage if a person chooses to help keep traditional Medicare, you can’t purchase a Medigap plan when you yourself have Medicare Advantage. Because most Medicare Advantage plans offer better coverage and frequently more benefits than Medigap, having both is normally unnecessary. You could have both Medigap and Medicare Part D, but it could be more expensive to get this done than simply buying a Medicare Advantage plan instead.