Choosing a plan can be difficult if you search for Medicare plans in Texas to fit your health needs. Many factors go into determining which set of benefits is suitable for you and your family. But, before you decide, it’s essential to know what options are available to find the right package for your needs.
Medicare is the government health insurance program for people aged 65 or older or with specific disabilities. A Medicare Texas plan covers many medical services, including hospital care, home health care, and other medical services. Many options are available if you have Medicare and need help paying your bills.
Medicare covers a wide range of health care services, but there are some features that you can’t get through Medicare. Like most insurance plans, Medicare has several different coverage levels that provide varying benefits and cost-sharing. These include:
- Basic coverage. Primary coverage includes inpatient hospital stays, doctor visits, and outpatient hospital visits. It also provides prescription drug coverage for several days each year.
- Assisted living. Optional coverage for certain people who have specific disabilities with other medical needs. Assisted living can be used as a transitional living arrangement when a person cannot live independently due to age or disability.
- Long-term care (LTC). This coverage provides home health services like bathing, dressing, and feeding someone at home or in assisted living facilities. Long-term care may also include physical or occupational therapy when needed.
How Do You Choose the Right Medicare Plan?
The first step is to make sure you understand your health needs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a tool that can help you answer some of these questions.
The CMS Tool for Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan offers advice on choosing the right Medicare plan. This is based on your current health situation and your future health. It is designed for people who have already enrolled in Medicare in Texas or are considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. This tool will help you determine if it’s time to switch plans or add more coverage during your enrollment period. So what options do you have?
Original Medicare is the original form of Medicare. It’s the part of the program that was created in 1965 before Medicare was reauthorized or significantly expanded. Original Medicare is the primary health plan that most seniors choose.
If you’ve never had health insurance, Original Medicare is a good option because it provides essential benefits at no cost. However, if you have medical expenses that exceed your annual deductible, you’ll have to pay some premiums. The Medicare program is broken down into five parts:
- Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient and nursing home care.
- Part B (doctors’ services) covers physicians and other health care services.
- Part C (catastrophic insurance) pays for out-of-pocket medical expenses above the limits of Part A or Part B.
- Part D (prescription drug coverage) provides prescription drug benefits to beneficiaries who meet certain requirements.
The Medicare program is not an entitlement program. It is a public service that helps older Americans afford health care when they need it.
Medicare Advantage Plans
The best Medicare Advantage plans cover a wide range of benefits. They’re often a good choice for people who don’t meet the Original Medicare eligibility requirements.
A Medicare Advantage plan offers a broad range of benefits in exchange for higher premiums than traditional Medicare. The program is run by private insurance companies, which the federal government pays to administer the program. Private insurers offer Texas Medicare Advantage plans and are designed to provide comprehensive benefits at a lower cost than traditional Medicare.
The Medicare Advantage plans in Texas offer additional health services that may or may not be covered by Medicare, such as:
- Routine wellness visits and preventive care, including vaccines, tests, and screenings
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropractic care, and other specialist services
- High-value services include cancer screenings, rehabilitation programs, inpatient hospital stays, and more.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Medicare Supplement Insurance is another type of health plan available to seniors with Medicare. It covers the additional costs you may encounter while receiving medical care, such as out-of-network discounts and deductibles. As with all other Medicare plans, Medigap also provides access to free preventive services like colonoscopies and mammograms.
Medicare supplemental can be purchased separately or with your basic Medicare coverage. It may also be referred to as Medigap. Medicare supplemental insurance combines health insurance and long-term care coverage administered through Medicare.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance (MSP) is only available to those enrolled in the Original Medicare program. You may be eligible if you are 65 or older and have been covered by Medicare for at least ten years.
If you qualify for MSP, it can help protect your out-of-pocket expenses if you need to use a long-term care facility or home health agency. It also offers some health benefits, including:
- Outpatient medical services
- Emergency room visits
- Hospitalization-related services (such as nursing home care)
Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare plans offer prescription drug coverage through a variety of methods. Some programs include medications in their base plan, and some involve drugs in a separate tier. In either case, the range is subject to cost-sharing requirements. Cost-sharing can include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and more. The PDPs vary by location, so plan details may vary from area to area. There are various PDPs:
- Traditional PDP. This plan offers coverage like Original Medicare. Yet it has additional benefits like a prescription drug deductible and coinsurance when using certain drugs.
- Enhanced PDP. This plan has a lower premium than Traditional PDP. But, you may need to enroll in Part D (prescription drug coverage) if you don’t already have it through Original Medicare.
The kind of Medicare plan you choose should reflect your situation. You need to figure out what best meets your needs and budget as an individual, things like your health status and whether you’re currently receiving subsidies. And then, don’t forget to make a move. Once you do, read up on how to get the most out of your new coverage. Medicare is not about range. It’s about peace of mind for today and tomorrow that’s as valuable.»4 Medicare Plan Options that Fit Your Health Needs«