Medicare/Medicare Advantage plans are open to change enrollment starting Monday and ending Dec. 7. As a result, you are seeing advertisements for many Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are not supplemental plans; they actually replace traditional Medicare.
There is a lot of confusing information out there. What you must know is which providers belong to the plan's network. A doctor or hospital "in network" is one that negotiates a formal contract and provisions for reimbursement. This is important because if you receive services from a doctor or hospital outside your network, you may find yourself with less coverage and paying much more out-of-pocket than you bargained for.
Insurance companies offering Medicare products might say you are free to choose any doctor or hospital, but some fail to let you know that you might pay more for medical care by providers (doctors and hospitals) not in their networks.
Beaufort Memorial participates in six plans, posted on our website www.bmhsc.org. If you have any questions about Beaufort Memorial, contact Robin Poehnert at 522-5794.
You have until Dec. 7 to choose a different Medicare Advantage plan, or you may choose to switch back to traditional Medicare. To find out more about plans available in your area, go to www.medicare.gov and enter your zip code. Whatever you choose, make sure you know what you are getting before you sign up and that you understand the implications and requirements of joining a particular Medicare Advantage plan.
Jeffrey L. White
Chief financial officer
Beaufort Memorial Hospital