Medicare Advantage Programs
Medicare Advantage Programs – also known as Advantage Medicare Plans or Medicare Part C – are the plans that are offered by private insurance companies and approved by Medicare. This type of insurance plan covers all your Part A and Part B expenses and Medicare services are covered in this one plan. In most cases the Medicare Advantage Programs will include the Plan D benefits as well. These Plan D benefits include some items like prescription drug coverage, general checkups (like vision, hearing and dental), as well as other health and wellness program coverage. To join a Medicare Advantage Plan you’ll need to make sure that you have a Medicare Part A and Part B plan, and be located in an area where Medicare Advantage Programs are accepting new members.
Medicare Advantage Health Plans Options
Medicare Advantage plans vary from one insurance company to another. You will have to decide which Medicare Advantage Plan will be the most beneficial to you in the long run. Most Medicare Advantage Plan options include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Medical Savings Account (MSA), Special Needs Plan, or the Private Fee-for-Service plans. Let’s take a quick look at some of these Medicare Advantage Plan Options.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO):
This type of option gives you the advantage of using doctors, hospitals and medical providers that are associated with your designated PPO network. Care is paid for as it is received instead of in advance in the form of a scheduled fee. In case you want to use them outside of the network it will be of additional cost to you.
Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMO):
This type of option gives you the leverage to be covered for additional benefits for health coverage like additional stay in hospital. In addition to that you’ll also get cost benefits for emergency visits to the hospital or doctor. However, only visits to professionals within the HMO network are covered by the policy. All visits, prescriptions and other care must be cleared by the HMO in order to be covered. A primary physician within the HMO handles referrals.
Private Fee-for-Service plans:
This type of option works with any Medicare approved doctor or hospital who accepts the plan’s payments. So in a way this is better than having a Medicare plan only for people who believe they are going to visit the doctor more often.