Obamacare has made the news almost daily in recent months, but few Americans have paid attention to exactly how this modified healthcare plan will affect those taking advantage of the country’s current Medicare system, or those who will be enrolling for Medicare in the coming years. If you live in Oregon, however, it’s especially important for you to make note of these changes, and to consider whether you’ll want to register for Medicare Advantage or for its competitor, Medigap, both of which provide supplemental insurance to traditional Medicare plans.
Though both the Medigap and Medicare Advantage programs are designed to provide additional health coverage, they actually work in two fundamentally different ways. Simiply put, Medigap is a program that helps cover the expenses associated with Medicare services such as copays and deductibles, while Medicare Advantage covers healthcare related expenses not typically covered by Medicare, such as longer hospital stays, hearing aids and dental care. All Medigap plans within a state offer uniform coverage; when it comes to Medicare Advantage, providers have the ability to customize their plans as they see fit to attract a wider clientele.
Oregon is counted among the states with the lowest fee-for-service healthcare costs in the nation, which is a significant advantage for its residents. Perhaps more interesting is that a 2009 study run through George Washington University indicated that for every $1 the US government spent on traditional Medicare services, it spent $1.24 on Medicare Advantage services, while in Florida one of the most expensive states for health -related services, the government spent only $1.03 dollars on comparable Medicare Advantage services. With President Obama’s funding cuts, however, Oregon residents are likely to notice a decrease in funding, which may lead to fewer plans being offered.
In Oregon, the range of options can be exciting for someone who wants to find the perfect plan for his or her specific needs, or overwhelming for anyone who prefers to choose from a smaller list. One advantage of choosing Medigap over Medicare Advantage is that all plans are identical, but you’ll quickly see that the pricing is not. If you’re choosing Medigap, make sure to find the most affordable plan before enrolling, and to enroll when you register for Medicare, as prices may increase if you wish to register at a later time. To find plans available in your area, fill out the zip code form to compare rates immediately.
If you are looking for the flexibility afforded by Medicare Advantage, you’ll need to shop around to find a plan with adequate coverage. Although price is likely to be a decisive factor, it is certainly not the only thing to consider. Make sure to do the research in advance, as registration for Medicare Advantage in Oregon is from October 15 through December 7 only. It should be noted, however, that there are certain circumstances in which you can apply for special consideration, such as if you lose a job that had provided your benefits, or if you moved within the year and need to find a plan in your new location.
No matter what Medicare supplement plan you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of Oregon’s excellent healthcare and reasonable prices. There’s no question that you’ll be able to choose the best and most affordable plan if you know when to register and have time to make an informed, educated decision. Get started by filling out the zip code form and comparing plans instantly.
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