At one time, approaching age 65 traditionally meant signing up for a Medicare plan that was fairly straightforward. Medicare Part A covered hospital stays and optional Medicare Part B took care of doctor’s visits and outpatient care, minus deductibles. That coverage is still available, but in recent years, Medicare has subsidized private managed health care companies to offer health care coverage alternatives to seniors like the WellCare Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
Low premiums are one reason seniors like choosing a Medicare Advantage (Part C). There are predictable out-of-pocket co-payments with no complicated claims forms to file. Patients with a WellCare Medicare Advantage plan deal directly with the insurance company and reap extras Medicare doesn’t offer like dental, vision, hearing and wellness programs. Some WellCare plans offer separate or already built-in drug prescription plans (Part D).
Although it is affiliated, the WellCare Medicare Advantage plan is different than traditional Medicare because it requests that patients visit a network of participating doctors and hospitals for care. WellCare plans can include Medicare patients on Medcaid as well as coordinated care like Medicare HMO and HMO Point of Service (POS) choices. There’s no need for a Medigap policy with a WellCare Medicare Advantage plan and patients cannot be turned down for a pre-existing medical condition.
In order to qualify for a WellCare Medicare Advantage plan, a senior must already have both Medicare Parts A and B and live in the company’s service area. There are some restrictions on the types of drugs covered. The WellCare Medicare Advantage plan is renewed annually, with limited, set times during the year to change or drop coverage.