WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Concerns Over Medicare Advantage Plans

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

February 14, 2006

The Jefferson Area Board for the Aging is cautioning seniors who may be enrolling in new all-in-one Medicare Advantage plans.

These plans are sold by companies such as Humana and Optima.

JABA says they're concerned because doctors in our area may not even accept them, because the plans work under a different payment program. JABA also believes they may be targeted towards limited income people. The advantage plans do offer lower monthly premiums than Medicare, but they do have co-payments which can really add up.

"Be very aware of the co-payments that they might face. Think about whether it's possible that they'll go to the hospital once a year, twice a year, and how much that would cost them," said JABA health insurance specialist, Sally Mank.

Also be aware of the prescription coverage, because advantage plans may not be as generous as those in the stand alone Medicare plans.

JABA also says that these new plans do not replace Medicare. So even if you're signed up, you still want to keep your Medicare coverage and your card.


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