Demystifying Medicare

June 01, 2012

Providence Offers Multiple Options to Keep Your Golden Years Glowing

Do you ever feel like the confusion surrounding Medicare coverage, contracts and co-pays will send you over the edge?

You’re not alone.

It’s time to demystify Medicare. Here’s a quick tutorial—plus some insight on how Providence Medical Institute (PMI) makes it easy for Medicare patients to stay within the Providence family.

Understanding Your Choices

When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare and automatically get Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

But there’s another piece to the Medicare puzzle—the Medicare Advantage Plan, or Medicare Part C. This is where seniors need to show some savvy, says Elizabeth Sander, M.D., a Providence Medical Institute physician. “Medicare Part B does not pay for some screenings and tests, and it only pays for 80 percent of most charges. Seniors need to look at their options to find a plan that picks up what Medicare does not.”

Medicare-approved private insurance companies provide Part C plans, which vary in terms of premiums, co-pays, coverage and costs. Some plans cover things like transportation, wheelchairs and oxygen, while others don’t. It’s important to find the option that’s right for you. “A senior can get all of their Part A and Part B coverage, in addition to prescription drug coverage (Part D) through these Medicare Advantage Plans,” says Ron Robinson, administrator of Axminster Medical Group, which is affiliated with Providence Medical Institute.

Finding a Solution

“Now Providence Medical Institute can provide coverage options for Medicare Part C,” Robinson says.

This means that patients now have access to multiple Part C senior health plans directly through Providence Medical Institute’s 34 medical clinic and urgent care locations throughout the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Conejo valleys, the South Bay and Harbor cities.

“Patients can sign up for Medicare plans affiliated with Providence and see all their doctors through the Providence Medical Institute network,” Robinson says.