Medicare recipients who have supplement or advantage plans need to check the new plans for 2014 carefully.
Advantage care plans have changed significantly across the board. New HMO's have entered the choice realm, some insurance carriers offer significantly fewer services.
If plan participants are accustomed to certain co-pay or health benefits such as gym memberships, the current provider might have changed in all areas.
Many advantage plans have dropped gym memberships. Other plans have added them. Many co-pays for primary care physicians that were once zero now range from zero to a much higher range. The same holds true for specialists, emergency care and hospital day co-pays. Others that were previously higher may now be zero.
Drug co-pays and formularies have also changed. Limits vary in different ways.
Television ads only share the best of the plans. It is important to make a comparison. Medicare provides a booklet that compares the main points of most plans. Ask providers to provide a summary sheet that can be used for comparison.
HMO plans tend to be the most cost efficient. PPO plans provide the most physican options. Whether they provide health club and gym memberships varies among all of the HMO and PPO providers.
Every county has different elements in the plans. All plans include the medicare-required preventative health care screenings.
Again, supplements and advantage plans for Medicare need to be examined each year in case the plan elements change and no longer meet the participant needs.