Have you recently reached retirement age and will no longer have insurance coverage from your employer? Or maybe you have become disabled and are going to have to rely on government insurance for your healthcare needs. Anyone that is looking to qualify for Medicare insurance plans will be left wondering what options are really available and what plans will best suit their needs. There are a few different options available for consumers who are in need of Medicare insurance plans, but understanding what is offered and the differences between plans can be the tricky part.
Original Medicare Plans
Original Medicare plans are the plans that are offered directly through Medicare. These plans include both Part A and Part B coverage. Part A covers services that are associated with hospital stays, home health or hospice care, or a stay in a skilled nursing facility; this coverage is available at no charge for those who paid Medicare taxes while employed. Part B is a more traditional medical insurance plan that requires a monthly premium. Consumers have a choice of doctors, hospitals and other service providers in the area that accept Medicare insurance plans.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare insurance plans that are offered through private insurance companies. These Medicare insurance plans will generally include both Part A and Part B insurance, and can be referred to as Part C. Medicare Advantage plans require that you see a specific service provider for coverage; otherwise, you will be required to pay higher out-of-pocket costs--up to the entire cost of services. There is generally a monthly premium associated with both Part A and Part B in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Coverage for prescriptions is another part of Medicare insurance plans referred to as Part D. This is a separate coverage from medical and hospital coverage and requires a monthly premium. A Medicare Prescription Drug Plan must be added to a consumer's coverage regardless of whether they are using Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Consumers also have the ability to purchase supplemental Medicare insurance plans, also known as Medigap. However, this option is only available for those with Original Medicare. This coverage is available through private insurance companies and can be used to cover copays, deductibles or coinsurance.
Determining which Medicare insurance plan(s) best suit your needs can be a difficult task; you never know what will happen as you age. If you are having difficulty deciding which options you need, consider contacting Medicare directly to speak with a representative that can help weigh your options. You can also talk to companies such as Continental Insurance Agency, LLC who specialize in Medicare insurance plans.