Does Switching Medicare Plans Affect My Coverage?
At age 65 there is an open enrollment period for persons that enroll in Medicare Part B. This six month window guarantees any individual the right to obtain a supplemental insurance policy called Medigap. It doesn't matter which of the medicare plans type is chosen, as long as it is available in the current state of residence. There are also no limiting factors or pre-existing conditions -- medical or otherwise, preventing this type of coverage from being bought.
Will Medicare cover the costs?
Combined, Medicare plans: Part A, Part B and the aforementioned Medigap policies will take care of most major medical issues. This includes surgery and recuperative periods in the hospital along with the necessary physical therapy as an outpatient. The problem lies in the fact that there is a annual limit of $1840 on the coverage provided by Part B for physical therapy. This is compounded by the fact that supplemental insurance also does not cover this additional expense.
When should coverage be changed?
The current HMO may provide the necessary benefits, so it may be worth keeping after enrollment in Part B. This is assuming a switch to Medigap within six months. Make sure that the plan will provide a better coverage for physical therapy than Part B. The policy can then be switched to one of the medicare plans before the window for enrollment is finished.
In some cases, patients eligible for Medicare may receive directives from the HMO provider to change coverage to a special Medicare version. This of course may affect coverage as well, since all Medicare plans are different. All patients have to evaluate what works best for their budget. Every detail should be considered before making a decision.