Some plans also include some additional benefits, called value-added services. Even if they are not part of your health coverage, they can be very valuable to you. Some of these included services can make a big difference. Examples are dental plans, doctor visits and health club memberships. MA’s plans are from private insurance companies, which set their own rules within the range allowed by Medicare. To make sure you receive the value of your money, read how the coverage is provided. For example, Advantage plans establish their own networks of separate providers and do not pay for non-emergency care provided by people outside that network. This makes it essential to verify the list of doctors and make sure your doctor is considered in the network. Some areas of the nation, such as urban areas, may have 2 dozen of Advantage policies, but there isn’t any Advantage policy available in certain parts of the country. If you are lucky enough to have several options where you live, be sure to compare coverage and cost.
The final health reform bill did not include cuts to Medicare benefits. The amount you pay for medical appointments, hospitalizations, prescription drugs or any other Medicare medical treatment has not increased. The final design eliminated the so-called screw hole. This is a loophole in Medicare insurance that allows recipients to pay the full price of premiums and prescriptions. Beneficiaries of Medicare who are yet to fill their insurance gaps will this year get a $250 discount and brand name drugs at a discount of 50% next year. What beneficiaries pay for prescriptions will decrease each year until the coverage gap is eliminated. As for the people who can change their current Advantage plan, now can be a good time. Of course, you will have to wait until the Annual Subscription Cancellation Period (from January 1 to February 14, 2014).
Currently, Medicare supplement policies are not affected by the Affordable Health Care Act: Beneficiaries of Medigap may continue to use current providers and their coverage will not change. Obviously, most older people and people with disabilities are worried about the price. Plans that cover services and provide the most flexibility can be very expensive. Many elderly and disabled people must settle for a limited income so they cannot pay monthly premiums. Others may come with minimums or even without additional bonuses. Some of Medicare Advantage plans even reduce the amount withdrawn from social security by a Part B premium. Unfortunately, Part C is the only supplemental insurance that most people can afford. Also, there are many beneficiaries of Medicare who are trapped in their Advantage policies as a result of health problems.