Different types of Medicare Advantage plans contain some major differences that can have an impact on how you receive your benefits. If you are new to Medicare and are researching your options, you are sure to run across some Medicare Advantage HMO plans that are available to you.
Finding the right Medicare Advantage plan requires that you take a systematic approach when you compare HMO plans.
The first thing to be aware of is how the network effects your plan usage.
A HMO plan will require you to receive your services from network providers and you are typically not provided benefits out-of-network.Your network will have a big influence on whether the Medicare HMO is the best choice.
Although this may seem restrictive you will typically be rewarded with a plan that has lower cost sharing including; copays, coinsurance and deductibles. HMO plans often include a wide array of extra benefits.
Medicare Advantage HMO – what to consider
- Before you consider the cost or the benefits make sure that you are able to review a provider directory. Don’t merely accept that your primary care doctor is in network and sign up. Ask to review a directory to really get a feel for the network.
- Cost is important but the cost includes more than the monthly premium. What you will likely pay when you receive services is where the real cost lies. Consider your situation. If you are required to see several specialists it may work out to trade a slightly higher premium for a lower specialist co-pay.
- Don’t overlook the Part D portion of the HMO plan. All formularies are not created equal. Ensure that you medicines are included and determine your overall cost. Don’t choose a plan without a premium and low co-pays only to find out that your drugs are not covered.
- Weigh the value of the extra benefits included in the plan. One of the top benefits of choosing a 2012 Medicare Advantage plan is to have benefits not available from original Medicare. Ask if the dental and vision benefits afford you insurance coverage or merely discounts.
- Compare several Medicare HMO plans to get a feel for what is available. You are likely to have several available especially if you live in a more urban area.
The Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15th, and end December 7th,. Request enrollment kits from more than one provider and review provider directories and Part D formularies so you can choose the best Medicare HMO. Here are some enrollment tips to help you choose the best Medicare advantage HMO.