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How Do You Check Out Your Medicare Coverage?
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Just the essentials...
Medicare members can confirm coverage online at Medicare.gov
Medicare Advantage members can confirm online with their plan provider
Medicare coverage includes health, prescription drugs, and Medigap
Medicare provides subsidies to qualified members
Medicare and Medicaid can grant dual eligibility
The name of the plan in which one enrolls is on the Medicare ID card sent to each member. Medicare Advantage Plans send an additional ID card with plan information and contact numbers. Checking these facts to be certain of coverage is an excellent idea. Medicare makes it easy for most people to confirm their coverage online, by telephone, in person, and by mail.
The Medicare ID card indicates whether one has Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare. Medicare tracks every participant by the name of the plan used, enrollment status, type of coverage, and the coverage start date.
The date of birth and start date of coverage are key facts in identification in the Medicare system. To get this information and confirm it, one can use any of the below-described methods.
Members can visit a local office to review the coverage in person
The Individual Mandate
Most Medicare coverage satisfies the individual mandate. Medicare Part B alone does not. The private insurance plans in Medicare Advantage are qualified health plans. They have more than the minimum value, contain the essential health benefits, and have limits on expenses. Persons covered by the below-listed Medicare services will not have to pay the penalty tax for no insurance.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Offers Important Choices
Medicare has two paths that subscribers should consider at the outset. They can choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. They represent similar coverage, but one consists of private plans, and the other is government-run. Original Medicare is an open arrangement. Users can go to any doctor or medical care provider that accepts Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans also provide comprehensive coverage but achieves it in different ways. They have management styles that can help patients, for example, some provide a primary care doctor. They offer a network that can have lower pricing than similar benefits on Original Medicare. Advantage plans can cost less than Medicare Part B and add prescription drug benefits for an all-in-one combination.
Users can go to any doctor or medical care provider that accepts Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans also provide comprehensive coverage but achieves it in different ways. They have management styles that can help patients, for example, some provide a primary care doctor. They offer a network that can have lower pricing than similar benefits on Original Medicare. Advantage plans can cost less than Medicare Part B and add prescription drug benefits for an all-in-one combination.
Take Advantage of Open enrollment
Medicare holds its open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7 of each calendar year. This period is the ideal time to review current enrollment coverage and consider ways to improve coverage and reduce costs. Beneficiaries can perform many tasks during open enrollment including the below-listed changes.
Change from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
Switch Medicare Advantage Plans
Switch to a Medicare Advantage plan with Prescription Drug coverage
Original Medicare has an annual deductible that in the calendar year 2020 was set at $1,408 for Part A and $198 for Part B. Each Medicare Advantage plan has its list of consumer paid expenses. They include deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and cost-sharing.
These expenses are part of the coverage provided by Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
Comparison shopping is a powerful tool for finding the best value in health insurance plans. Consumers can focus on particular features such as out-of-pocket expenses to find the best choice.
Understanding Original Medicare Coverage
Original Medicare is government-run medical care and insurance coverage. It uses a fixed price for services a type of managed care. Members have freedom to choose any doctor or hospital in the network. They do not need referrals or special permissions for the majority of available services.
The Original Medicare network is broad ad diverse. It includes thousands of doctors and medical care facilities across the United States.
Understanding Medicare Advantage Coverage
Medicare Advantage plans use many styles of managed care to deliver services and savings to subscribers. Medicare Advantage plans have some High Deductible Health Plans that can work with Medicare Savings Accounts. The accounts receive funds that consumers can use to pay out-of-pocket expenses. The below-listed descriptions show the basic elements.
HMO is the health maintenance organization. It uses a primary care physician to deliver care, and refer the patient to other network resources. The HMO does not use outside resources.
PPO is the preferred provider organization. These Medicare Advantage plans do not require referrals or a primary care doctor. They permit the use of outside resources but cover them at a lower rate of cost sharing than for network resources.
EPO is the exclusive provider organization. This type of Medicare Advantage plan offers low prices and a simple network. The members must use network resources except for emergency care.
HMOPOS is the Point of sale option for health maintenance organization. This type of Medicare Advantage plan uses a primary care physician. The doctor can make referrals to outside resources, and the insurance will cover with a lower rate of cost sharing than if using network resources.
FFFS is the fixed-fee-for-services type of Medicare Advantage plan. This type of managed care offers a wide network and freedom of choice for the consumer. The FFFS can standalone or connect to another network for regional or national coverage.
Dual Eligibility with Medicaid
Some persons qualify for Medicaid in addition to Medicare coverage. These dual eligible members have a source of subsidy and extra help with costs , cost shares, and coinsurance. Medicaid can pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs for qualified Medicare members.
Advantages of Dual Eligibility
Dual Eligibility opens a path for Medicare savings programs such as the QMB for the benefit of low-income Medicare members. Medicaid pays expenses, premiums, and costs consistent with their budgets. The goal is to get the most favorable situation for a low-income person getting health benefits through Medicare.
A small boost from Medicaid can add a much larger amount of needed benefits from Medicare. Medicare Part B leaves a standard cost share amount of twenty percent for the consumer’s payment. Members with dual eligibility can get some coverage of the cost share gap from Medicaid.
Checking Medicare Coverage
Medicare provides an easy way to check coverage online at Medicare.gov. One can check current enrollment there and find the details of the Medicare plans and any subsidies that apply. Those that prefer can call Medicare and get the same information. Paper mail works too; one can get the details of coverage by a letter of request to Social Security or Medicare.
One can go to a local Medicare or Social Security Office and get the information in person from a staff member. Comparison shopping is the ideal method for finding the best fit in Medicare Advantage health plans, Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplement.
Consumers can rate these private insurance plans by the features of greater importance to them.
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