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Understanding the California Medicare advantage program can be pretty easy. The tough part is knowing what you are getting from the plans you are researching. At CaliforinaMedicareAdvantage.com we are dedicated to helping people find the right Medicare Advantage California plan for their needs. You can get a set of quotes by filling out the form on this page or keep reading to learn more about California Medicare Advantage Plans.
As an alternative to joining Original California Medicare system, you can instead enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage is also known as Medicare Part C. These plans are required to cover all of the same services that are provided by Medicare Parts A and B (other than hospice care). However, Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional types of coverage.
For example, unlike Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan may provide coverage for dental, vision, and / or hearing benefits, as well as certain types of wellness programs. In addition, most Medicare Advantage plans will also include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered through individual insurance companies. Therefore, the premiums for these plans may differ based upon the specific plan that you choose, as well as on the geographic area in which you live.
One of the primary differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare is that many of the Medicare Advantage plans operate in a similar manner to HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). This means that enrollees may be required to visit doctors and facilities that are listed within a specific “network” of providers in order to obtain their care.
The tradeoff, however, is that the premiums for Medicare Advantage are oftentimes lower than Original Medicare – and in some cases, there are no premiums at all – and the coverage is usually more extensive.
With Medicare, your health care services are divided into two primary segments. These include the following:
Medicare Part A primarily covers hospitalization services. These include surgeries and other hospital related needs that you may have. However, this part of Medicare will also cover other related items that are considered to be medically necessary in the treatment of your condition.
With Medicare Part A, inpatient hospital care coverage will include the cost of a semi-private hospital room, along with general nursing care, drugs that are needed as a part of your inpatient hospital treatment, and other related hospital services. This coverage typically includes that which is needed in acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and mental health care.
In addition, while Medicare Part A does not cover a great deal for long-term care services in general, it does provide some limited coverage if you need care in a skilled nursing home facility following a hospital stay. Likewise, some limited home health and hospice services are also covered as well.
In most cases, Medicare Part A is premium-free. This is because many people pay taxes into the Medicare system throughout their working lives. However, for those who are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, this part of Medicare is still available for a monthly cost. In 2014, the monthly premium for Medicare Part A is $426.
Medicare Part B is the part of Medicare that provides coverage for doctors’ services. Here, Medicare offers coverage for two primary types of care. First, it offers medically necessary services such as those that are needed for diagnosing or treating a medical condition. Also, Medicare Part B covers many types of preventive services that can help you in preventing illnesses like the flu, as well as services that may detect illnesses at an early stage so that treatment is more likely to work better.
Part B also covers items such as ambulance services, durable medical equipment, clinical research, and outpatient hospital services. In certain instances, Medicare Part B may also cover the cost of obtaining a second opinion before you have surgery.
There is a monthly premium that is required for Medicare Part B. For most people, this amount is $104.90 (in 2014). However, for those who are considered to be in higher income brackets, the Medicare Part B monthly premium amount may be higher.
While “Original Medicare” is considered to be Medicare Part A and Part B, there are many people who are in this program who may also want to have coverage for prescription medications. This is where Medicare Part D comes in.
These stand-alone plans are offered by private insurance companies, and they can help to greatly reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Because of this, Part D premiums can vary a great deal from one insurer to another, and each may provide varying benefits to some degree.
While Original Medicare may seem to cover a wide range of services, there are many areas that the program leaves out. For example, services such as vision testing, hearing tests, and dental care are not covered by either Medicare Part A or Part B – yet these can be important items for seniors and their health care needs. You can fill all these gaps with a Medicare Advantage plan or choose to keep the Medicare coverage and add another policy called a Medicare supplement (learn more about Medicare supplements available in California HERE).
While it is a strength that you have a bunch of different California Medicare Advantage plans it is also a weakness. Since there are so many options people frequently get confused if they are not receiving help from a good agent. By working with the agents at CaliforniaMedicareAdvantage.com you are working with someone who knows California and has years of experience with all of the Medicare Advantage companies that are available in California. Since we are an independent agent we are not tied down to any one insurance company and can look at your needs to match up the best Medicare Advantage California policy for your needs.
When shopping for California Medicare Advantage Plans, it is best to first compare several different plans. This is because the benefits that are offered – as well as the premiums that are charged – can oftentimes differ a great deal from one insurance carrier to another. By “doing your homework,” you may be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars per year in premium cost savings.
If you’re ready to start comparing California Medicare Advantage Plans, we can help. We work with many of the top California Medicare Advantage carriers, and we can assist you in comparing plans and premium prices – all directly from your home computer – without having to meet in person with an insurance representative. You can obtain all of the information that you need quickly, easily, and conveniently. When you’re ready to begin, all you have to do is just simply fill out the contact form on this page.
Should you have any questions along the way about California Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Part A or Part B, or even about Medicare Advantage Plans in general, please feel free to call. Our experts are here to help in answering any of the questions or concerns that you may have so that you can make the best decision possible about your Medicare coverage needs. You can contact us directly, toll-free, by calling 800-550-0155.
We understand that making a Medicare Advantage decision can sometimes seem overwhelming. There is a lot of information to digest. We can help to make sense of it all. Give us a call today.
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