Medicare News

Current news for Medicare beneficiaries and the community that serves them.

Medicare Advantage Plans Not Always the Best Option

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Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans have many limitations including controlling which health care provider a beneficiary can use.

 The Medicare Rights Center cites the most common problems associated with Medicare Advantage Plans.


Medicare Advantage Plans (also called Medicare private health plans) make up Part C of the Medicare health benefit. A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide a senior with all of their Part A and Part B benefits. Basically it’s an alternative way of receiving benefits. These plans primarily include HMOs, PPOs, and Private Fee-for-Service plans.

The plans may look good on the surface because they offer the same basic coverage as Original Medicare, plus some additional benefits and services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. However, when compared with what is included in Original Medicare, the Medicare Advantage Plans prove to have many limitations and often fall short of delivering the best care at the right price. In fact, they aren’t nearly as advantageous as having Medicare Parts A and B alone – much less with the optional Part D prescription coverage and Medigap supplemental insurance that a beneficiary can get only with Original Medicare. Read more

Seniors with Medicare Save Money on Medications

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Medicare saves seniors money on medications

Millions of people on Medicare are saving an average of more than $600 each year on prescription drugs.

Part D drug benefit coverage gap slowly closing while drug premiums stay consistent.

Seniors with Medicare are increasingly saving more money on out-of-pocket costs for medications thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which made many improvements to Medicare, including additional benefits and more coverage.

The average 2013 monthly premium for basic prescription drug coverage is holding steady at about $30, the same as it was in 2012. Additionally, seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.9 billion on prescription drugs as the Affordable Care Act began closing the “donut hole” coverage gap, reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Department also reports that millions of people with Medicare are saving an average of over $600 each year on their prescription drugs. Read more

How to Choose the Best Medicare Plan

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How to choose the best Medicare plan.

Having a serious medical condition and high drug costs are factors that should influence the plan you choose.

A step-by-step guide to choosing a health insurance plan that fits your individual health care and financial needs.

If you are new to Medicare – or even if you have been on Medicare for a while – you may find it difficult to figure out what all the plans mean and what the best options are for your evolving health care needs and financial situation.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program. You qualify for it if you are age 65 or older, or if you are younger but have certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Unlike other health insurance, Medicare coverage is divided into four parts: A, B, C and D. This allows you to choose which parts you want and avoid duplicating coverage from other insurance. Read more

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