To be eligible for California senior health insurance one must first have Medicare Parts A and B. Once A and B are in place the typical California senior may purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan and/or a Medicare Prescription (Part D) plan. If qualified via a disability, persons not considered seniors (under age 65) may also be Medicare eligible.
Medicare Supplement plans underwent a change effective June 1, at which time new plans called “Modernized Medicare Supplement” plans were introduced. Existing Medicare Supplement policies are “grandfathered” and remain in force, but each new plan offers a somewhat different set of benefits when compared to the old plans.
Medicare Advantage plans are not Medicare Supplements. Advantage plans do not fill the Medicare Part A and B gaps as do many supplement plans, but rather give you set co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles that may control costs and limit your out of pocket expenses. Advantage plans often include Part D drug coverage, as well as additional benefits not included in Medicare such as dental, vision and hearing.
Medicare Prescription (Part D) plans are often elected by California senior health insurance policyholders as a stand alone policy to compliment Medicare Supplement coverage and certain Medicare Advantage policies. In 2010 rebate checks of $250 will be provided to each Part D policyholder upon entering the “donut hole” as provided by Health Care Reform.