Medicare Advantage Plans have changed their benefits in part as a response to the new Healthcare laws and changes made to Medicare itself. Calendar year 2010 saw several coverage options that were originally offered only under Medigap policies shift to core coverage. The changes in the benefits for Advantage plans, which must cover all the items that Medicare itself covers. Most changes to this type of plan represent redirecting the coverage of the benefits. Providers can add and drop benefits, but there is usually government oversight regarding what they can and cannot provide. This oversight for Medicare Advantage plans provides greater protection for the consumer than a consumer gets from private health care plans.
Medicare Advantage providers will tell the consumers when their policies change. This includes addition of new coverage, removal of old coverage and changes in their premium structure. They can require a person with treatments not covered under standard medicare but covered under the policy to get approval from the Federal government to make sweeping changes to the items not covered under traditional Medicare. Odds are that the changes will not affect most people greatly.
Medicare Advantage plans are far from a person’s only choice when it comes to Medicare coverage. A person can drop the plan and go back onto straight Medicare if that is what he chooses to do. If he lives in a larger area or wants to compare the rates of the national plans, he can switch coverage to a different provider. He can also choose a Medicare plan and a Medigap policy. A person who considers making a switch should talk to his Medicare provider first.