Kaiser Medicare Advantage Plans 2021
Kaiser Permanente specializes in providing quality insurance products including Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. These are high coverage plans that give seniors an alternative to access more healthcare services alongside what Medicare provides. They are underwritten by private insurance providers who are contracted by CMS – the organization that administers Original Medicare.
Some seniors choose to go for MA plans because they essentially consolidate different types of Medicare covers under one plan. That’s precisely what seniors receive through the Kaiser Medicare Advantage Plans for 2021.
Going For A Kaiser Advantage
The initial question you might have is why choose Kaiser Permanente as the underwriter of your MA plan in 2021? Kaiser’s Medicare plans offer the following benefits:
Kaiser prices their MA plans competitively, and with a selection of these covers available, beneficiaries are assured of ending up with an Advantage plan that suits their budget and medical needs.
Kaiser’s team of customer representatives are known to offer nothing short of exemplary service.
Kaiser’s unique network of medical professionals and healthcare facilities gives beneficiaries a wide range of options when it comes to where they can seek coverage.
Besides all that, Kaiser provides additional member perks including discounts and memberships to fitness clubs.
While Kaiser’s MA plans are standardized by CMS, the insurer has the liberty of pricing these policies as they please. What it essentially means is that the price attached to an MA plan from Kaiser differs from the price of the same cover from another insurer. The basic coverage remains the same despite the insurance company underwriting the plan, but it is also at the insurer’s discretion whether or not to include added perks to the plan.
Kaiser’s coverage area is limited in terms of the hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics that accept its plans. Some medical facilities that are not under Kaiser’s network will not accept these covers, and that means that beneficiaries have to personally pay to access healthcare services in such cases.
Types of Kaiser Medicare Advantage Plans For 2021
Kaiser has several network plan options including Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Private Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), Special Needs Plans (SNP), and Medical Savings Account (MSA). In summary, HMOs cost less but they restrict you to strictly accessing medical services within Kaiser’s network. PPOs cost significantly higher but they accord you the liberty of partially getting healthcare services outside the network.
The PFFS option allows you to access medical services flexibly. You get full coverage when visiting medical practitioners or facilities within Kaiser’s network. For out-of-network services you incur a per-service fee cost.
The SNP plans are specifically designed to help beneficiaries who have pre-existing health conditions access quality healthcare services. It works best for people who have life-limiting illnesses that make them reliant on long-term care. Seniors with disabilities can also go for these MA plans. Generally, these plans are also affordably priced.
The MSA plans work best when teamed up with another high deductible medical cover.
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How Kaiser’s Advantage Covers You
All Medicare Advantage plans are structured to provide some level of assigned coverage that is similar across the board. CMS standardizes the basic level of coverage that MA plans should offer but they leave the pricing up to the private insurance providers who sell these plans.
The same applies to Kaiser who then package these plans to include some added member benefits. The basic coverage handles Medicare Part A and B costs and emergency healthcare services. Most MA plans also provide the option of including prescription drug coverage (Part D) to the package at an added cost.
Worth noting is that you can buy an MA plan and also buy the prescription drugs cover separately. It proves more economical to go for an MA plan that comes bundled with the Part D coverage. However, seniors who had previously purchased the prescription drugs coverage before getting an MA plan might prefer to hold on to it until its validity lapses.
Kaiser’s Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 might also offer coverage for routine checkups and non-medicated prescription items like eyeglasses and hearing aids. You also always have the option of changing MA plans to suit your changing health needs. Most of these plans offer coverage for one year and beneficiaries can then choose to continue with the same cover the following year to upgrade to a different one.
Signing Up For A Medicare Advantage Plan
Every year, the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from mid-October to early December. That is when you are likely to get the offer of Advantage plans floated to you, as long as you are eligible to start making use of your Original Medicare cover. In the same breath, that is the time when your pre-existing Advantage cover runs out each year and it is the right time to cancel or switch to a different one.
Once you fill out the necessary forms, in this case, accessible from Kaiser’s website, and then send them back, they will get in touch with you about your approval status. Once the insurer takes you under their wing, your MA coverage will kick off by the 1st of January 2021.
Remember that initially, Advantage plans are available to U.S. citizens who are 65 and over. There are exceptions allowing some seniors who are under 65 to access these plans earlier, much like the eligibility criteria set for people enrolled in Original Medicare before they turn 65. People with disabilities and those with life-limiting medical conditions are typically the groups allowed to take up coverage ahead of time.
Worth mentioning is that you can not receive coverage from both Original Medicare and an Advantage plan. MA plans stand in place of Original Medicare and they offer the same level of coverage plus more. You also can not have a Medicare Supplement plan and also an Advantage cover. There are a few exceptions as mentioned, your Kaiser Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 can work with a Medicaid policy or a Medicare Part D plan bought separately.
If you have any questions about Kaiser’s Medicare Advantage plans, reach out to us and we will be happy to address your concerns. We can also source quotes from Kaiser and other insurers offering these plans to help you settle for the right type of MA plan that also suits your budget.
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