HMO Costs

HMO Costs are Cheaper than Original Medicare

One of the largest advantages of Medicare HMO Plans is that they are usually significantly cheaper than Original Medicare. HMO Plans include both Part A and Part B coverage. In addition, many of them also include Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage. Part B and Part D coverage alone generally double the cost of Original Medicare. HMO Plans include this coverage for much less. In addition, they also often offer other types of coverage such as dental and vision coverage. This care is excluded from Original Medicare. For example, the premium rate for Original Medicare Part B in 2011 was $162.00 a month. In the same year the average Advantage Plan bid at $87.05. HMO Advantage Plans were on the low side of this scale costing even less.

Costs Associated with HMO Plans.

There are a variety of costs that will accompany any Medicare Plan. The only people that largely escape these costs are people who are dual-eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to premium costs, there are additional costs associated with Medicare HMO coverage. These include coinsurance, deductibles and co-payments. Each person will need to look at their particular medical situation to determine which plan will give them the best deal. The standard co-payment rate for Original Medicare is 20% excluding Mental Health care. Mental health care is currently covered at 55% for care. This rate is slowly being adjusted downwards to match the standard 20% rate.

Tips for Choosing the Right Medicare HMO Plan

When shopping for an HMO Plan and comparing these plans with other plans it's helpful to realistically analyze your current average Medical expenses and then compare the categories and how they are paid for by 2-3 plans. For example, if you have a history of mental illness obviously an HMO plan that covers this above the Original Medicare rate is preferable. Pay attention to prescription drug rates as well. Often HMO plans will negotiate good deals with large providers. These rates generally extend to their Medicare patients. If you are unsure of which plan is going to provide you with the best rate ask your local pharmacist and doctor's administrators for "off the record" information. Explain to them that you are trying to choose the best Medicare HMO plan for your needs. These health care professionals see plans and how they pay day after day and month after month and they can be a wealth of information.