United Healthcare has offered both Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare supplements. Although both plans are from the same company they couldn’t be more different.
A Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage Plan is another way to receive your Medicare benefits. The plan includes all Medicare Parts A and B benefits and often includes prescription drug coverage.
You generally receive your care from a network of providers and pay premiums, deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance for services. Many Medicare Advantage plans have a $0 deductible.
Medicare Advantage Plans are popular because you are able to get all your coverage from one plan and many plans include extra benefits such as dental. vision, hearing and Silver Sneakers gym memberships.
Secure Horizons Medicare supplements
Secure Horizons Medicare supplements are also offered by United Healthcare. The official name for a Medicare supplement is Medigap. A Medigap policy works differently than a Medicare Advantage Plan. A supplement fill the gaps in original Medicare by paying a portion of your costs.
The amount the plan pays depends on the plan. There are 10 standardized plans some more comprehensive than others. Medicare supplement Plan F is the most popular and the most comprehensive. Standardization makes comparing Medicare supplements easy. Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans is a more involved due to the variations between plans.
Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage options
Advantage plan overview: To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage Plan you must be eligible for Medicare Part A and continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. You must also live in a plan’s service area.
Medicare Advantage Plans are offered County by County and you may have more than one Secure Horizons plan available or in some cases no Secure Horizons plans available. Visit Medicare.gov to locate all plans available in your County.
Rates are not based on gender, health condition or age, the exception being those people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) who have other options through Medicare and are not eligible to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Types of Secure Horizons Medicare Plans
Special Needs Plans are Medicare Advantage Plans for people with certain qualifying conditions or situations. There are chronic illness plans, plans for people living in a nursing home and plans for people enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid otherwise known as dual-eligible individuals.
Pros: If you qualify, these coordinated care plans generally do a better job of managing conditions and helping with chronic illnesses better than an Advantage Plan for the general population.
Cons: Plans often offer less flexibility to choose providers and networks are often more limited especially for dual-eligible plans.
Medicare Complete Plans are HMO plans and require you to use a network of local hospitals and doctors. Also available in some service areas are MedicareComplete Plus plans that are HMO-POS plans. Point of Service plans allow you the flexibility to receive care out-of-network.
Pros: Services received in-network will generally afford you the lowest out-of-pocket costs.
Cons: These plans are not normally available in more rural areas. Also, many find the network restrictions to be less than positive when a specialist not in the network may be desired. Out-of-pocket costs for the HMO-POS plans may be unaffordable when using out-of-network providers.
MedicareComplete Choice Plans are PPO plans that give you the flexibility to use providers out-of-network for a higher out-of-pocket cost. Many people with an AARP Medicare Complete Plan have this type of Medicare plan. Plans are available with or without Part D coverage included. The Secure Horizons medical only plan as branded as MedicareComplete Choice Essential.
Pros: Often $0 premium plans with comprehensive networks and the freedom to go out of network for required services.
Cons: Some services obtained out-of-network require more out-of-pocket costs than if you were enrolled in original Medicare.
Secure Horizons MedicareDirect Plans are Private Fee-For-service plans (PFFS) and members can receive care from any Medicare approved provider that accepts the plan’s payment terms and conditions. Many of these PFFS plans were discontinued leaving many service areas without a Secure Horizons Medicare plan option.
Pros: No network required. You can also purchase a stand-alone Part D drug plan (even from another company).
Cons: Finding a provider who will accept the plan. Also providers can choose to accept the plan on a visit-by-visit basis. You will also have to pay a premium for Part D coverage as none is provided in MedicareDirect Plans.
Enrolling in a Secure Horizon Medicare plan
Unless you have a Special Enrollment Period or are aging into Medicare you will be limited to enrolling during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The open enrollment period begins October 15th and ends December 7th. You can research plans at the Secure Horizons website or see additional Medicare Advantage and Part D plan options at Medicare.gov.
It’s also important to note that plans can change annually or be discontinued all together. It’s important to review your Medicare Advantage options on an annual basis. The good news is the secure Horizons Medicare plans are widely available and you often have more than on plan choice.