Exploring your Options: Other Medicare Health Plans

So, you’re familiar with Original Medicare. Perhaps you’ve even researched the Advantage Programs. But did you know that you may have a third option? Medicare offers, in many places, other Medicare health plans worth considering.

Like Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, the other Medicare health plans will provide you with your hospital and medical insurance, or Part A and Part B. Some also include the option of prescription drug coverage (Part D) or allow you to purchase a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. The three types of other Medicare health plans include demonstrations or pilot programs, Medicare Cost Plans, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Demonstration, or pilot, programs are used to test Medicare improvements. These projects are offered to a specific group of people, in specific locations, in order to test improvements in coverage, payment, and care quality. Right now, Medicare is offering a pilot program for people with Medicare who have at least one chronic illness.

Medicare Cost Plans, also available only in specific locations, work much like Medicare Advantage Plans, except that if you need services that are not within the plan’s network, the Original Medicare Plan will pay your Medicare-covered expenses.

PACE, or Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, provides long-term care services for elderly people who receive community health care. Available only in some states, PACE serves as an alternative to a nursing home. If you are eligible for nursing home care and are at least 55, PACE can supply you with social, medical, and prescription drug coverage.

Choosing a Medicare plan is an excellent way to prepare for your future. By examining your available options, you will be able to chose the plan that fits your lifestyle. To find out if there are any demonstrations, Cost Plans, or PACE in your area, call your State Medical Assistance Office.

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