A Medicare HMO is a viable option for those who wish to limit their out of pocket medical expenses. It should be known that not all parts of the United States have Medicare HMO benefits as an option. Generally, the more urban areas and areas that have a higher concentration of Medicare eligible residents will have one or multiple Medicare HMOs as an option. The Medicare HMO is a type of Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare HMO benefits are generally free of charge with no monthly premiums. One would still have to pay the monthly expense of the Medicare part B premium which is $96.40 in 2012.
Medicare HMO benefits are simple and easy to understand. The Medicare HMO will claim that they provide preventive healthcare that focuses on maintaining your health but the fact is that when a Medicare HMO member gets sick he or she will simply go to the doctor and have minimal out of pocket costs.
How Does an Medicare HMO Advantage Plan Work for You?
Medicare HMO Advantage plans are quite different from other types of health insurance plans in the manner they deal with the cost of health care and the services they provide.
Medicare HMO Advantage Plans make an effort to keep the cost of healthcare as low as possible. This can happen in a number of ways. For instance, HMOs make out how much they would pay for health care and services. Thereafter, they contract with the physicians and hospitals which accept those payments readily.
In a lot of cases, HMOs fork out physicians a defined sum of money each month for each patient they see. Policy holders need to get their care from the physicians, hospitals and other insurance providers who work with the HMO. This is addressed as a network.
Usually, the HMO Medicare Advantage Plans solely pay for operations or procedures that they can show are effectual. They may need their members to try lower priced tests or procedures before they will cover the ones that cost more.
HMOs normally ask its members to pay money partially for their treatment. Policy holders are asked to possibly fork out specified amount of money, titled as co-payment, for each service that they obtain. The HMO Medicare plans may additionally have an annual deductible. Deductible is the amount of money that the policy holders have to give on an annual basis before HMO pays for your treatment. Co-payments and deductibles assist in holding the cost of health care down.
Under the HMO Medicare Plan, members need to get approval prior to getting paid by HMO for the services and procedures. This generally implies that the primary care doctor has to give referral before the HMO pays. If the policy holders receive services without any referral or approval, then they might have to pay full cost for all the services.
In case the HMO does not approve any service or procedure, the member or the physician can appeal the decision with the HMO. In worst situations, if the HMO still does not pay for the treatment, the member has an opportunity to make an appeal to HMO Help Center.
An HMO Medicare Advantage Plan may be Right for you if:
Using Your Medicare HMO Advantage Plan:
In case you require seeing a physician for a routing medical check-up, you will generally need to pay a co-payment for that visit. A co-payment for the visit can be as low as $10.
One does not need to make any claim; simply showing Medicare HMO card and making your co-payment will do the task. Rest, you don’t need to worry about as it will all be taken care of for you. A big advantage of a Medicare HMO Advantage plan is that it saves a lot of extra paperwork.
Nevertheless, one must keep in mind that under HMO, you are only covered for in-the-network insurance providers. Your Medicare HMO Plan would not pay for any treatment done by doctors out of the network.
Luckily, most of the HMO network comprise of thousands of physicians and hospitals. So, determining the best one for you should not be a problem.
Finding a Primary Care Physician (PCP):
With a Medicare HMO plan, you will have to choose your Primary Care Physician (PCP). He would be a doctor whom you would visit first in case you need any kind of medical care.
If you are not satisfied with your PCP or wish to consult any other physician, then your Primary Care Physician will need to give you a referral. In case you don’t take referral, then your Medicare HMO Advantage Plan would not cover you for that care.
What kinds of physicians can likely be considered as a PCP?
Difference between PPO Plans and HMO Plans:
Benefits of Medicare HMO Advantage Plans:
• Low or no monthly
health plan premiums with minimal co-pays
markets in the United States have varying reimbursement rates from
the federal government. The reimbursement rate is the amount of money
that the government pays the Medicare HMO company on a monthly basis
for each member on the company's membership rolls. A Medicare HMO member is generally confined to receiving medical care to the network
of doctors and hospitals on the Medicare HMO network. In addition,
the member will be assigned a primary care physician (PCP) who will
manage the patient's benefits and refer the member to a specialist if