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What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Though it is a different 'part' of Medicare, Part C or Medicare Advantage is a method for beneficiaries to receive their standard Medicare benefits (Parts A and B) through a private carrier, possibly with additional benefits and/or costs. The federal government pays each Advantage plan a monthly amount to provide the same care as Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits as well.
There are seven types of Medicare Advantage Plans available in Colorado. Each operates differently in terms of networks, coverage and cost.
Low income Medicare beneficiaries will have more opportunities in 2010 to receive assistance with prescription drug costs as well as payment for the Medicare Part B payments. This can total more than $1150 per year in savings. Hundreds more people will benefit from the changes in the amounts of the resources limits and elimination of life insurance policies as a resource to qualify for extra help to pay for prescription drug costs.
All Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible for prescription drug coverage. Colorado has implemented a preferred drug list (PDL), a formulary that establishes what drugs are covered and for what purposes. Some drugs are excluded from the PDL or require prior authorization. These include agents for anorexia/weight gain, fertility, cosmetics or hair growth, symptomatic cough/cold relief, smoking cessation, prescription vitamins and minerals, non-prescription drugs, less-than-effective drugs, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and over-the-counter drugs (except aspirin and insulin).