You have several plans to look into when choosing your Medicare coverage. These are your Medicare options in Idaho.
Medicare Part A and Part B make up Original Medicare. These give you hospital and medical insurance, covering you for inpatient and outpatient care as well as preventive services and medically necessary care.
Original Medicare does not cover dental, vision, hearing, podiatry, chiropractic care, acupuncture, or cosmetic surgery, and has no out-of-pocket maximum.
Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. These offer the same basic coverage as Part A and Part B but are offered by private health insurance companies and have an out-of-pocket maximum. Each plan competes for your business with additional offerings such as dental and vision packages and fitness club memberships. Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MAPD) plans have the coverage of Part A, B, and D, giving you benefits equivalent to the standard Medicare plans.
To sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the plan’s coverage region. Elmore, Boise, Owyhee, Canyon, Ada, Gem, and Payette counties have Medicare Advantage plans available for your choosing.
The important differences between Medicare Advantage plans comes down to costs, coverage, and convenience. Obviously, you will want to choose a plan within your budget. Beyond that though, you have to look into the coverage available with each plan and if you get to keep your primary care doctor or not. Medicare Advantage plans use networks of providers to keep costs low, and seeing providers outside of that network will be expensive. If you take prescription medications, you should look for a plan with prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are yearly contracts that you renew or drop each year.
Medicare Part D Plans
Medicare Part D plans are prescription drug plans that lower the cost of your prescriptions at the pharmacy. These are standalone plans offered by private health insurance companies, but are standardized to cover at least two drugs in each of the most common classes of drugs.
There may be a few options for Medicare Part D plans in your region, but you will want to choose one that covers your prescription medications and fits within your budget.
Medicare Supplements help to cover the out-of-pocket costs from Medicare Part A and Part B. These costs can include Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, Part B copayments and coinsurance, hospice care, skilled nursing facility care, your first three pints of blood, the Part A deductible, and more.
The best time to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan is during the six months after you are first enrolled in Medicare Part B. During that time, you do not have to go through medical underwriting to purchase a policy and will not be charged more for pre-existing or current conditions. If you are under 65 and have Medicare due to a disability, you may have more difficulty finding an affordable plan.
Comparing Your Medicare Options
There are two main options for Medicare plans: Original Medicare with Part D and/or a Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Advantage. You cannot have both Medicare Advantage and a Medicare Supplement. For help choosing the right combination of Medicare coverage, contact Generations Insurance today.
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