If you’re eligible for Medicare health plans and insurance, you have two basic options for coverage. One is Medicare health insurance, also known as Original Medicare Parts A and B. The other option is a Medicare Health Plan offered through a private insurance company.
There are several types of Medicare Health Plans:
- Medicare Advantage Plans
- Medicare Cost Plans
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE
- Medication Therapy Management Programs
Demonstrations of Medicare Health Plans and Insurance
Medicare Advantage plans are open to everyone who is eligible for Medicare. The other Medicare Health Plans serve specific needs or populations.
Medicare Advantage Medicare Health Plans 2019
Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, is an alternative to Original Medicare. Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Original Medicare, but they come from private insurance companies instead of through the federal government.
There are several other important differences between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans operate with a network of doctors, just like the PPOs and HMOs you may have had in the past. You may need to see a network doctor; additionally, you may receive a lower benefit if you go out of network. Original Medicare does not have provider networks. You can see any provider who accepts Medicare.
Original Medicare has a standard premium set by the government. Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, the premiums and specifics of your plan may be different, and more likely to change over time.
Medicare Advantage plans may include additional benefits like prescription, vision and dental insurance. With Original Medicare, you can purchase these types of insurance separately.
Medicare Health Plans Comparison: Other Medicare Health Plans
Depending on your situation and where you live, you may also be eligible for other types of Medicare health plans. Some plans provide Medicare Part A and B coverage; however, many of them only provide Part B coverage.
These Medicare health plans operate under the same rules as Medicare Advantage plans. Also, they usually use a system of provider networks.
Medicare Cost Plans are available in certain parts of the country. These plans may also include prescription drug coverage. If you sign up for a cost plan with Part B coverage only, your Part A coverage will be provided by Original Medicare.
PACE Programs for the Elderly
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly is a program that helps people receive care in the community and at home instead of in a nursing home.
To be eligible for PACE, you must be 55 or older, qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, live in the service area, and need nursing care. Also, PACE covers adult day care, in-home care, counseling, nutritional therapy, and other needs. It additionally covers the medical services that Medicare typically covers.
Medication Therapy Management Programs
Thes programs help people who are in Medicare drug plans learn to manage their medications. Although, these free programs give you a list of the medications you take, an action plan to help you get the most out of your medications, and a summary of medications with your doctor.
Demonstrations and Pilot Programs are Medicare research programs
Medicare offers these programs to a limited number of people for a specific amount of time as a way of testing changes to Medicare payments, coverage, and quality of care. Also, to find out more about current demonstration and pilot programs, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Finding the Best Health Plans
Before you sign up for Medicare, it’s a good idea to compare Medicare health plans and Original Medicare plans. While Medicare Advantage plans are popular, most people still choose Original Medicare supplemented with a Medigap plan.
At MedicareFAQ, we help you find the best Medicare coverage for your needs. We offer free, no-obligation quotes. To begin, give us a call or fill out an online rate form.