Remember that everything covered by Parts A and B is covered by the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you are covered by a Medicare Advantage plan, you will be covered for all necessary medical services, including emergency and urgent care. Generally, Private firms which provide Part C of Medicare have medical networks; this could imply that you need to see the doctors that offer your plan to get health care. When making a decision about Medicare Part C, it is a good idea to ask if doctors near your home are included in your network. Apart from hospice care which is an exception, Advantage plans of Medicare are expected to insure all services covered by Original Medicare. Hospice care is covered by Original Medicare, even if you register in Part C of Medicare. Advantage Plans of Medicare are not complementary coverage.
A small group of people choose original Medicare even if they are not covered by a previous employer. Many of these people do this because they don’t know their options. When you qualify for Medicare, you must evaluate all your options. Choosing original Medicare for yourself or an employer group policy without drug benefits will require you to buy Part D insurance. In fact, you don’t have to buy Part D, but late enrollment penalties are a good incentive. For that, if your budget allows, consider buying a supplemental policy in 2011. Medicare supplemental policies are called Medigap because they fill in cost-sharing gaps in one degree or another, depending on the individual policy.
Also, there is another incentive for insurance firms to lower the costs of their Advantage plans of Medicare. These policies usually provide prescription drug insurance, which forces them into competition with Medicare prescription drug policies, also referred to as Part D. You might have come across some unfavorable predictions that private insurance company Medicare Advantage plans would soon increase premiums or minimize coverage benefits. Up till this time, nothing could be further from the truth. Some government administration said close to 12 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will experience a decrease in their monthly billings by an average of four percent next year, but the benefits will remain the same.
About a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in Advantage Plans, according to deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Jonathan Blum. He expects enrollment to increase by 10% next year because these plans are also reducing the expenses that beneficiaries have. Plans will lower deductibles and copayments.