Get to Know Medicare Advantage Plans in 2016
Provided by HealthCare Partners Medical Group
For many Americans, crisp weather and crimson leaves indicate one thing: fall has arrived. And for the 55 million who have Medicare1, it also means that Open Enrollment (October 15 – December 7) is just around the corner.
Suppose that in 2016, you’d like to reduce your blood pressure or arthritis pain. Or, perhaps you want to improve your diet and lower your cholesterol. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a team of doctors who work together to offer you the care you expect and deserve? What if they also offered additional education programs and benefits?
For Medicare beneficiaries, this is entirely possible with a Medicare Advantage Plan, which provides Part A & B benefits through a private health plan such as a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).
In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage (MAPD) and additional benefits, like vision, dental, and transportation services. They are also required to limit out-of-pocket expenses for members, saving you money.2
This year, nearly one in three Medicare beneficiaries will enroll in a MAPD.3 These numbers are expected to rise, largely because Medicare Advantage Plan members report higher satisfaction and greater savings—particularly on out-of-pocket medical costs—than Original Medicare members.4
How Medicare Advantage Works
The foundation upon which Medicare Advantage exists is called coordinated care. What this means is that under a Medicare Advantage Plan, a network of doctors and hospitals work together as a team to provide patients with the best possible care. When doctors and hospitals join forces, and communicate more efficiently, patient care can only be better.
By focusing on coordinated care, Medicare Advantage Plans aim to improve patient health, reduce hospital visits, and increase collaboration between a patient’s various healthcare professionals. As a result, Medicare Advantage Plans tend to offer better care than Original Medicare.5
These results are largely due to the fact that within a Medicare Advantage Plan, a team of doctors and hospitals work together to achieve a common goal: better health for their patients. To do this, they share information, resources, and incentives to ensure patients get the right care at the right time.
Coordinating Care in California
The most important reason to review your Medicare plan is to make sure you are getting the care you expect and deserve. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help you through this process.
HealthCare Partners is one such resource. Affiliated with 14 Medicare Advantage Plans, more than 30 hospitals[CS1] , and a variety of urgent care and walk-in centers, HealthCare Partners offers a care options tailored for each individual patient.
HealthCare Partners patients have access to more than 1,800 primary care physicians and 4,500 specialists throughout Southern California. Patients who are chronically ill or frail benefit from personalized care programs, and all patients have access to health education classes and 24/7 telephone support.
HealthCare Partners welcomes most major health insurance plans, including Medicare Advantage Plans and Original Medicare. Whether you are a current HealthCare Partners patient or simply exploring your Medicare options, you can call 1-888-715-4922 to learn more.
Regardless of your current Medicare plan, it’s worthwhile to review your options during Open Enrollment. By comparing different plans, you may find a MAPD that better suits your needs in 2016.
For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also refer to “Medicare & You 2016 ”, mailed to you in September or visit medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare plans in your area.
This is for informational purposes only. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. For a complete listing of health plans in your area please contact 1.800.MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1.877.486.2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult medicare.gov.
This site does not provide medical advice. This website is for informational purposes only.
1. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). (July 2015). On its 50th anniversary, more than 55 million Americans covered by Medicare. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2015-Press-releases-items/2015-07-28.html.
2-4. Marsha Gold, Gretchen Jacobson, Anthony Damico, and Tricia Neuman. “Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2014. Retrieved from http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/8588-medicare-advantage-2014-spotlight-enrollment-market-update.pdf (September 8, 2014).
5-6. Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. and Alyene Senger. “Progress in Medicare Advantage: Key Lessons for Medicare Reform.” The Heritage Foundation, September 4, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/09/progress-in-medicare-advantage-key-lessons-for-medicare-reform#_ftn2 (September 9, 2014).