What can you do to cover more of your medical expenses, if you are in a situation where Medicare alone leaves you to pay for too many of your health care needs? Both Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans can be used to advantage basic Part A and B Medicare benefits, which are also referred to as Original Medicare.
These types of plans will help you with the deductibles and co pay charges of Medicare. Only Medicare Advantage Plans cover for prescription drugs. If you have a Medigap Plan and Original Medicare, you can also add a Medicare Part D which is a Prescription Drug Plan.
Whether you prefer Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans or Medicare Advantage Plans to cover your prescription costs, know that not all plans cover every prescription. Before you enroll in any plan, be sure your medications are covered. Medicare Advantage plans have lesser restrictions on the doctors you choose.
One of the main differences between Medigap and Advantage Plans is your freedom to choose a doctor. Medicare Advantageary Plans allow you to choose any hospital or doctor which accepts Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans offer care through HMOs who limit your choice of doctors to a network. Though in situations where you need emergency or urgent care, you will not be restricted.
If you need a specialist who is considered “out-of-network” for non-urgent care or non-emergency, the lack of coverage might deprive you of care that is critical for your condition.
Medicare Advantage Plans Are Not Standardized
Standardization of benefits is another major difference between these two types of coverage. Medigap Insurance has been standardized into 10 benefit packages and each combination of benefits is designated by letter.
For example, Medigap Plan F is the most advantages and the benefits will always be the same regardless of whether your Plan F is provided by Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc.
Medicare Advantage Plans are not standardized, hence you need to ask more questions and be sure that you understand the rules that apply to each policy. Different Advantage Plans may require you to be able to follow different rules and pay for different prescription drugs.
Sticking to a plan could costs more in the long run
Most people would prefer to look for ways to increase their health insurance and deal with it once and for all, but this is a costly strategy. The available plans change from year to year. For instance, in 2010, Medigap policy dropped a few plans and added two new packages in the low-premium range. If you do not have new plans when they come to market, you may miss opportunities to expand your coverage or reduce your premiums.
Even if you are not currently interested in Medicare Advantage Plans, you should take a second look in the near future. The health care reform adds incentives to these plans to improve care. High quality service rating plans receive government bonuses as a reward.