Medicare Options for Seniors
Medicare: More Options For Health Insurance for Seniors Mean More Questions
It is true that Medicare reform has brought more choices for health insurance to more seniors. The changes however have also brought with them more confusion. Today as people enter retirement and meet the age of eligibility for Medicare there are far more choices in health insurance available to them than there once were.
Everybody’s situation is unique. And the decisions you make regarding Medicare health insurance options will impact your health and your financial future. The biggest change in Medicare in the past decade has been the introduction of Medicare Advantage plans. Original Medicare, still available, is the traditional Government sponsored single payer insurance for seniors. Once you qualify and enroll in traditional or original Medicare coverage you can see any health service provider that accepts Medicare. However not all health services are covered by traditional Medicare. This has created so-called “gaps” in Medicare coverage. This often requires seniors to purchase an additional Medigap policy to cover these “gaps”
Medicare Advantage plans are plans issued through Medicare but by private insurers involved in the program. Medicare advantage is not available in all States. Where Medicare Advantage is available it gives seniors the option of enrolling in various kinds of low cost health insurance plans, such as PPO’s or HMO’s. There are also Medicare Advantage plans available that follow the more traditional Fee-for Service health insurance model. Since with a Medicare Advantage plan seniors may tailor make affordable health insurance to their specific needs, additional Medigap policies are not necessary.
Some Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage. In either circumstance, stand-alone prescription drug coverage is now also available through Medicare.
The choices you make regarding your Medicare health insurance options will affect your benefits, your choice of doctors, and maybe even the quality of care that you receive. For more information about Medicare, and to weigh all of your options log on to http://www.medicare.gov, or discuss your needs with your insurance professional or financial advisor.