Your Medicare coverage choices
There are 2 main ways to get your Medicare coverage— Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Some people get additional coverage, like Medicare prescription drug coverage or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). Use these steps to help you decide what coverage you want:
Tinkering With Hospice: The Medicare Care Choices Model
In an effort to address this problem, The Affordable Care Act of 2010 directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) to establish a three-year Medicare Hospice Concurrent Care demonstration project which would allow patients otherwise eligible for hospice care to also receive all other Medicare covered services while receiving hospice care. The hospice providers selected for the project are supposed to undergo an "independent evaluation" regarding patient care, quality of life, and spending in the Medicare program. The Secretary is directed to ensure that the aggregate Medicare expenditures for the three-year period shall not exceed what should have been the aggregate expenditures if the demonstration project had not been implemented. According to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore), who wrote the provision into the Affordable Care Act, "Patients and their families should have every choice available to them when faced with a life-threatening illness. Allowing Medicare coverage to continue while under hospice care means that patients no longer have to make a false choice between hospice and curative care."
Medicare Advantage Plan, Original Medicare Choices
Medicare Advantage (MA) offers an alternative way of receiving your benefits through local or regional private plans, which are most often health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Each plan must include everything covered by traditional Medicare, but may offer more benefits and/or lower copays. Most plans charge a monthly premium (in addition to the Part B premium), and most include Part D drug coverage. Your choice of doctors and other providers may be restricted to those in the plan’s network and geographical area—although PPOs allow you to go out of network for a higher copay. Each plan can, each calendar year, change its premiums, its extra benefits and its copays, or withdraw from Medicare You cannot buy a medigap policy to cover out-of-pocket costs in a Medicare Advantage plan. But each plan has an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs.