You have a wide range of Medicare and other senior health insurance options available to you in Merced County. To make shopping easier, use the navigation links below to show specific plan types. If you are looking for more information about your options click here.
To speak with a Medicare adviser, call us toll-free at 877-549-1452 (TTY 411). Our telephone hours are 6AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday.
Merced County Medicare Insurance Options
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is the only Medicare insurance that's standard in California. All private Medicare insurance is regulated by the federal government, but plan and policy availability is regional (e.g., within all parts of Merced County or throughout the state).
In addition to regional Medicare insurance options, you must match your most important doctor (generally your primary care physician) with a plan. Tens of thousands of doctors don't treat Medicare patients, and those that do don't accept all types of Medicare payment. Some only work with Medicare directly, some only work with specific Medicare Advantage plans, and some do both.
Our goal is to help you find all of the information you need to narrow your plan options to a small number so you can get on the phone with licensed adviser and make your final election for the year. In our experience, people who take a little more time investigating their options generally have better results with their healthcare.
Medicare Advantage Insurance in Merced County
If you're concerned that Original Medicare might be too expensive (you pay 20% of all costs), then a Merced County Medicare Advantage plan is the first option you need to explore. It's the private health insurance alternative that replaces your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits with a managed care plan (HMO or PPO), or a private fee-for-service plan (available in limited areas).
For most Merced County seniors cost is a factor, so let's talk about it. You have plans as low as $0.00 per month and some as high as $0.00 per month. It's not always true that the higher the premium the more benefits and coverage you get. Be a good shopper and compare. Be sure to compare prescription drug benefits. There are 2 plans that give you prescription drug coverage and 1 that don't include it.
There are several different type of plans, including Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), and Medical Savings Account (MSA). HMO and PPO plans are the most common. We identify the plan type and its benefits on each plan page.
In many areas you will find one or more $0 plans. This simply means that there's no additional monthly premium cost to you above and beyond your monthly Part B premium. In all cases you are required to continue to pay your monthly Part B premium in addition to the Medicare Advantage plan premium.
Are you aware that Medicare Advantage has an annual out-of-pocket spending limit? This feature, called the Maximum Out-of-Pocket (MOOP) expense, is what safeguards you from the threat of high medical bills. Each year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets the maximum and an alternative minimum MOOP that plans may offer, so be sure to look for it when comparing your health insurance options.
A full thirty-three percent of all Medicare beneficiaries enroll in Medicare Advantage each year. The reason is simple: it's a cost-effective alternative to Original Medicare. We encourage you to learn more by visiting our Medicare Advantage Frequently Asked Questions and Medicare Advantage Coverage pages.
Medicare Supplement Insurance in Merced County
If you like the flexibility of being able to see any doctor you choose, but you're concerned about paying 20% of all your medical bills, the solution is Medicare Supplement insurance. Commonly called Medigap, supplemental Medicare insurance helps pay your share of the Medicare costs.
Medigap insurance is available in California in ten standardized letter plans, A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. There's also a high deductible version of Plan F. Plan A is the most basic and Plan F offers the most coverage possible.
Medicare Supplement insurance is not like Medicare Advantage; by law it is not allowed to offer additional benefits, including prescription drug coverage. Each Medigap plan pays specific portions of the coverage gaps in Original Medicare. So, if it's not covered by Medicare Part A or Part be, Medigap insurance can't cover it either.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in Merced County
One of the most important healthcare benefits needed by most California seniors is prescription medication coverage, and it's not included in Original Medicare. If you want assistance paying for your prescriptions you must enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes it, or join a Medicare Part D plan (PDP).
There are a total of 31 PDPs available to California seniors. Premiums range from $12.60 to $147.00 per month. Also, be aware that some plans have an annual deductible that you must pay at the pharmacy before assistance begins. Some plans have a $0 deductible, but premiums are generally higher.
Prescription drug insurance is important, so be sure to learn as much as you can about Medicare Part D before enrolling. You'll find plenty of information on our Medicare Part D Frequently Asked Questions and Medicare Part D Coverage pages.
How-To Find a Medicare Doctor in Merced County, California
We've recently added all Merced County Medicare doctors (primary care physicians for now) to MedicareWire.com. Doctors who treat Medicare patients are listed by city or town. We have school information, years of experience, hospital affiliations and insurances for doctors in Atwater, Dos Palos, Gustine, Hilmar, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Planada, and surrounding areas.