Medicare Advantage Insurance in Albuquerque, NM, and Surrounding Areas
Basically, a Medicare Advantage Plan takes over for Medicare and is sold by private insurance companies who must follow Medicare’s guidelines and cover the same items as Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans frequently include prescription drug coverage, all in one package deal. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan in New Mexico you must continue paying your Medicare Part B premium, but you will get your Medicare-qualified health care through the Medicare Advantage Plan—not through Medicare.
New Mexico Medicare Advantage Plans are primarily managed care plans—meaning insurance companies may require referrals and pre-authorize what services are covered. It also means coverage is generally limited to providers in their network. There are two types of networks: a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).
In this type of network, you’ll get the best benefits when you go to a network provider. If you go to a non-network provider, you’ll still be covered, but will incur higher out-of-pocket expenses. Still, it’s nice to have the option of being able to go out of network.
HMO networks are, usually, smaller than PPO networks. Also, in most cases you have to get a referral from your primary doctor to see a specialist. Be aware that there is no coverage if you go to an out of network physician or hospital. An exception to this rule exists if you have a bona fide medical crisis and go to the emergency room. In this instance you would still be covered.
YOU MUST HAVE BOTH MEDICARE PART A AND PART B
YOU MUST PAY YOUR MONTHLY MEDICARE PART B PREMIUM TO MEDICARE
YOU MUST NOT HAVE END-STAGE RENAL DISEASE
YOU MUST LIVE IN THE SERVICE AREA FOR YOUR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN IN NEW MEXICO
Advantages of a Medicare Advantage
Lower price tag: Low premiums are the biggest attraction. Premiums in New Mexico can range from about $65 per month for a PPO plan to as low as $0 for an HMO plan. Yep, zero as in zip, zilch, nada.
Changes: How long such $0 premium plans will last is a big question mark, but at least in 2018 they are available from several carriers. Most plans automatically include prescription drugs at no additional cost. Some plans include dental and vision, and even free health club memberships.
Disadvantages of a Medicare Advantage
Out of Pocket Costs: You will incur costs for virtually every single doctor visit and medical procedure, both in and out of the hospital (except for preventive services which are free). Your costs can include deductibles, copayments and coinsurances which will continue until you reach your maximum out of pocket (MOOP). The Max Out of Pocket amount differs between insurance plan.
Network Restrictions: You must see an in-network providers. This mean if you want to see someone out of the network you could pay the entire amount. Some health plans will allow you to go out of network a limited number of times.
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