Beware Medicare Advantage Plans

An increasing number of seniors are choosing to get their Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage plans. But do they understand what they’re signing up for? A recent report suggests they may not, especially when it comes to which hospitals are included in the plans’ networks.

Medicare Advantage plans are typically health maintenance organizations or preferred provider organizations that offer seniors hospital and medical coverage (Medicare Part A and Part B), and sometimes prescription-drug coverage (Medicare Part D), dental care or benefits such as gym memberships. These plans typically offer lower out-of-pocket costs than traditional government-run Medicare in exchange for members using in-network doctors and hospitals. The problem, according to the report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, is that the size and composition of hospital networks varies greatly among plans, yet that isn’t always apparent to those shopping for coverage. Plan directories contain incorrect, confusing or outdated information about which hospitals and specialty institutes are included in networks, the study found, and the directories can be difficult to navigate. One directory featured 600 pages without a table of contents or index, it said.

Source/more: Wall St. Journal

 

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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