There are many different kinds of Medicare Advantage Plans: HMOs (or Health Maintenance Organizations), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Point Of Service (POS). When you compare Medicare Advantage Plans, you might find that HMOs are the most common kind of plan available in your local area, since most people are familiar with them.
HMOs tend to require you to select a primary care physician to oversee your health care, and oftentimes, you have to get all of your non-urgent care from doctors within the HMO network, or risk being dropped from the program. In addition, when considering an HMO, keep in mind that they tend to charge higher co-pays and premiums than most other Medicare Part B plans. However, there are other advantages to choosing an HMO, including the ability to network with doctors within the network that provide the best possible health care.
When looking at Medicare Advantage Plans that include a POS plan, you’ll need to pay a bit more than if you just went with an HMO. There are other differences, you’ll need to look at, however.
First of all, POS plans often have a wide variety of services you can choose from, so you can often find good value without paying top dollar for every service. However, they typically have higher monthly premiums, as well, which means that you may pay more than you would for a policy with the same benefits. This advice applies if you’re looking to buy a policy with improved benefits, but you don’t necessarily need such an enhanced policy.
Most people are familiar with Part C, which is a prescription drug benefit. But Part D, the supplementary health care plan, can be confusing, too. To make sure you get the right plan for your needs, it’s helpful to compare Medicare advantage plans in addition to comparing different Part C and D plans. While some people won’t need both plans, most people do, and they should consider them for overall coverage.
You should compare Medicare advantage plans for both their monthly premiums and their out-of-pocket health care costs. If you or a member of your family is healthy and rarely gets dental work, you probably won’t need a high premium.
For the same price as a discount card, you can get a membership in a discounted dental plan. You can also save money by taking advantage of annual cleaning at a participating dentist’s office, rather than paying the full amount for cleaning in a fee-for-service facility. However, it’s up to you to decide what you want from your insurance.
A second consideration is the quality of care provided by Medicare Advantage Plans. Most plans offer a network of doctors and hospitals, but not all of them are equally useful. One reason that choosing a specific network might be beneficial is if your primary doctor is located within the network.
If you have a regular doctor, however, you might be better off going with a more generic provider. These companies often reimburse less, but they usually have a helpline available to help in cases of doubt, so you will not be turned away from a hospital or doctor.
Medicare Advantage Plans typically include some type of prescription drug benefit, whether it is a discount card or a prescription drug benefit insurance program. This can be an attractive option for many seniors, as it eliminates the need to buy prescriptions filled at pharmacies. Some plans don’t provide any prescription drug benefits.
The most useful types of plans include the pharmacy benefit and the provider network programs, which allow people to buy prescriptions from a list of participating providers rather than from a specific provider. While each plan varies slightly, there are some similarities between the most popular ones.