By Denice Merrill
Insurance in general can be a confusing experience.
As you approach the age of 65, you may be eligible
for "Medicare Coverage". This is still health
insurance but with different options to consider.
The following is a simple overview-
Coverage includes minimal protection for hospitalization
and doctor visits. This is the Medicare Part
A & B.
Health Insurance protection that fills in the
gaps in coverage are referred to as "Medigap
Plans", as the name implies, it can pick
up some or all of the gaps in protection that
the Medicare Part A & B do not cover.
is where it gets tricky, there are 10 standard
health plans labeled A through J. Once you buy
a Medigap Plan the company cannot change what
the policy pays for, and cannot cancel the policy
unless you don't pay the premium. The company
can however, at their discretion, increase the
premium you pay. There are ways to protect against
Select plans offer supplemental coverage
but require you to receive all your care from
the plan's list of providers. If you seek health
care outside of the plan's network, you must
be prepared to pay most, or all of the costs.
Almost all Blue Cross of California plans are
In Medicare HMOs there are no deductibles
and co-insurance charges, however there are
usually monthly premiums and co-payments for
doctors' visits and other services. You must
use only doctors and facilities that contract
with the Medicare HMO, and you must obtain your
doctor's permission for all specialist and procedures.
Unlike Medigap and Medicare Select plans, Medicare
HMOs can change their benefits, deductibles,
co-payments and premiums annually, or they can
decide to leave town or leave your zip code.
Beyond this brief overview, if you have questions,
would like to understand your potential options
or review your current coverage, please call
Health Care Consultant
gathered from California Health Advocates Association
- Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program
- HICAP, Rev 2/4/04)
Disclaimer: The above information
is presented for educational purposes only.
Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
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for the treatment or prevention of any disease.
Consult your physician for all your health needs.
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