Seniors from California who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan have good options. When you enroll in Medicare Advantage you are trading your Original Medicare benefits for private health insurance available in California.
Be aware that plans vary by where you live. It all comes down to the availability HMO and/or PPO healthcare provider networks available in the area.
Who Can Enroll in a California Medicare Advantage Plan?
Most California seniors qualify to join a Medicare Advantage plan. An exception is a disqualifying illness, such as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
You are only allowed to join, drop or change plans during a Medicare Election Period. The periord between 15 October and 7 December is the Annual Election Period (AEP). That’s when most folks make their changes to their Medicare.
There’s also an Individual Election Period (IEP) that you can use once. You IEP is a 90 day period around your 65th birthday. It starts the month before you turn 65 and ends the month after.
You have three different enrollment options. The first way is to call a plan directly. If you know the plan you want, this way is quick and easy.
The second way is to go to www.Medicare.gov and enroll through the government website. It’s an easy way to start your application on-line, compare plans, verify that your medications are covered and see which doctors take the plan you want.
The third way is to use an independent insurance agent. This is the best way to go if you need someone to help advise you. Most local agents represent multiple insurance products, giving you plenty of options.
California Medicare Advantage Plans vs. Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement
If you are concerned that a Medicare Advantage plan could be inconvenient or limit your services, there is another way to get full coverage and lower your out-of-pocket costs. You also have the option to hold on to your Original Medicare PFFS benefits and upgrade your coverage with California Medicare Supplement Insurance and a California Medicare Part D Plan (for help with your prescription drugs).
If you’re not familiar with Medigap policies, and how they protect you from medical care liability, please review our California Medigap Plans page. All Medigap plans are standardized. That means you can chose the plan you need based on best price without worrying about the benefits.
About Our 2015 California Medicare Advantage (Part C) Information
The healthcare insurance information provided on MedicareWire.com is derived from data files published by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although we do our best to regularly update our databases, we are not able to ensure the exactness of the information. Only a licensed health insurance agent can give you a binding quote.For additional information go to the CMS website at: http://cms.gov. This page was last updated on 9/13/2015.