Types Of Medicare Advantage Plans And Enrollees
Since the late 1970s, Medicare beneficiaries have had the opportunity to get their Medicare benefits from private, preferred health care plans, like PPOs and HMOs, rather than through the federal Medicare program as insurance coverage. These private, preferred health care plans get capitated Medicare payments to provide cover for all Medicare-insured services to eligible plan participants.
Medicare Advantage Plans were designed to fill in the Medicare coverage gap for high-income seniors. They are often referred to as Medicare Advantage Plans or Medigap Select programs. The Medicare Advantage Plans are also popularly known as Medicare Part D Plans. They offer hospitalization benefits, durable medical equipment coverage, medications, and vision insurance.
There are several important things that you need to know about Medicare advantage plans before deciding whether or not to buy one. First of all, there are lots of confusing terms and legalities associated with them. For this reason alone, it’s a good idea to do some research before taking the plunge. That being said, knowing a little bit about Medicare advantage plans and how they work can go a long way in helping you decide on whether or not to sign up.
Knowing a little about the basics will help you decide if you are eligible for any particular Medicare Advantage Plans. It will also help you decide if you want to get Medicare Advantage Plans through a private company or directly through the government.
One thing you should know about Medicare advantage plans is that some, like the HMO, are in-network virtually every time. If you choose one of these plans, you will be required to pay the in-network premium plus any applicable out-of-network charges. This means, for example, that if you go to a different hospital within a 25-mile radius from your home, you will have to pay more out-of-network than if you went to a hospital within the same area.
If you have any type of health condition or if you visit a doctor that is outside of the network, you will end up paying more. For this reason, it makes financial sense to stay within a preferred network as long as you can.
Another important thing that you need to know about Medicare advantage plans is what supplemental benefits you’ll need to cover in the case of an emergency. Usually, supplemental benefits cover items that Medicare cannot afford. For example, prescription drugs are a major part of the supplemental benefits plan. If you’re on medication for an extended amount of time (many people need to take several medications a day), then you’ll need coverage for prescriptions. In addition, Medicare Advantage Plans often don’t cover dental care.
There are some additional stipulations in terms of Medicare advantage plans and supplemental benefits. You will usually have to choose from one of three plans: the PPO, HMO, or Indemnity. Each plan has its benefits and limitations, so you’ll want to compare them side by side before choosing one. Also keep in mind that even though you may be covered for certain services by your original plan, some services such as prescription drug coverage may not be included with every PPO and HMO plan.
In short, there are quite a few different ways to structure a Medicare Advantage Plan. The most common format involves a monthly premium that is paid upfront so that the providers can pay the expenses and providers can give incentives for enrollees to enroll. However, there are also several different ways in which costs for Medicare can vary, including deductibles and coinsurance, which mean that enrollees will have to pay more out-of-pocket than what they would pay if they were enrolled in traditional Medicare.
Furthermore, enrollees will typically have to pay their first month’s premium on or before the end of the year, regardless of whether they receive Medicare Advantage Plans or not. Lastly, enrollees must maintain continuous coverage throughout their lifetime to keep the Medicare Advantage Plans’ options open.