Maybe you have heard good things about Humana and have decided to enroll in a Humana Medicare Advantage plan. But which is the right type of plan for you?
Medicare Advantage plans are not created equal and there are things that must be considered when comparing Advantage plans.
You need to first be aware that if you currently have a Humana Medicare Advantage plan there is no guarantee that it will have the same level of benefits or the same premium in the years to come. In fact, because Advantage plans are annual plans your Humana Medicare Advantage plan may not necessarily renew each year.
All insurance companies that contract with CMS to offer Advantage plans must make information about the following years plans available in October. The same is true if they are going to discontinue a particular plan.
Types of Humana Medicare Advantage plans
Humana Advantage plans include four types of plans. If you look at a website for an insurance company it will generally have some type of disclosure that plans are annual plans and plans can change or not renew the following year. That said, Humana is the 800 pound gorilla in the room and they seem to be fairly consistent in their offerings.
Humana Gold Choice (PFFS)
Gold Choice is a private fee-for-service plan and is touted as the right type of plan for people who want the most flexibility at an affordable premium. Unlike other Advantage plans members are not required to utilize a network but instead can use any provider that accepts the plans payment terms and conditions. Legislation became effective in 2011 will allow members to access a network of providers if desired.
Humana Gold Choice does offer more flexibility but generally at a higher cost than their other plan options. In some areas, a 65 year old can purchase a Medigap policy and a stand alone Part D plan for less than the Gold Choice plan. The Medigap policy will generally be more comprehensive for the Medicare covered benefits but will lack the extras (like dental and vision) that are afforded in an Advantage plan.
Humana Gold Plus (HMO)
Gold Plus is a plan for people who need to stretch their health care dollar yet receive a broad level of coverage. This coordinated care plan will give you the benefit of fixed costs (typically reasonable) for most health care services. If you choose Gold Plus you will utilize providers within the network. You have less flexibility than the Humana Gold Choice but will usually have a lower cost both monthly and for out-of-pocket expenses at the time of service.
Humana Choice is billed as the plan that will allow you to balance your flexibility with your health care costs. A PPO will generally give you the certainty of a credible network, fixed costs for most services and the ability to receive services out-of-network for a little higher cost. Kind of a best of both worlds scenario.
Humana Special Needs Plans
Special Needs Plans are designed for people with specific circumstances. Humana has primarily focused on Special Needs Plans for those people who have Medicare and are enrolled in their State’s Medicaid program.
Comparing Humana Medicare Advantage to other plan options
Not all plan types are available in all areas. But it is important to understand the different types of Medicare Advantage plans so you can compare Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans to other plans available. Keep in mind that the glowing references to a Humana plan that was related to you may be of a plan that is not available in your area.
When you compare Medicare Advantage plans you are not only comparing the company but the type of plan and specific benefits included. You can compare plans at the Medicare website or shop online to get information on all Humana Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.