Manning Regional Healthcare Center

Choosing the Right Medicare Insurance Coverage

It can be confusing and difficult to understand which Medicare insurance coverage is right for you. Manning Regional Healthcare Center encourages community members ages 65+ to consider these factors before making a decision.

“Since Medicare was created in 1965, most Iowans have received their Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B health benefits through the Original Fee-For-Service system,” shares Amy McLaughlin, CPA, Chief Financial Officer at MRHC. “In 1997, Congress passed the Balance Budget Act, which created Medicare+Choice plans. The purpose was to give people on Medicare other options for receiving their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits.”

Today these choices are called Medicare Advantage plans (sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C). Currently, Medicare Advantage plan options are available in 97 Iowa counties. Original fee-for-service Medicare also continues to be a choice in all areas.

“No matter which option you choose, you are still in the Medicare program. Understanding the options available will help you to make an informed decision. That being said, we want to share some considerations when choosing between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage,” said McLaughlin.  

Read the fine print, does the plan in consideration allow you to see any doctor or go to any facility that accepts that particular type of insurance? Some plans have a fixed network of doctors and hospitals as well as rules about whether or not you can receive care outside of your network. Keep in mind that with any plan, you will likely have to pay more if you receive care outside of the listed providers in your network.

Other questions to ask before choosing a plan are whether there are rules regarding seeing specialists with or without referrals, what monthly costs are anticipated and if prescription drugs are covered.

The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is part of the state of Iowa Insurance Division. SHIIP is dedicated to providing information and assistance with questions about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, claims and other related health insurance. Trained SHIIP volunteer counselors are available across the state, including MRHC, to provide free, confidential and objective one-to-one assistance.

To set up an appointment with MRHC’s SHIIP Counselor, Dee Schmitz, and further discuss your specific Medicare options, please call (712) 655-2072.

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