Why UniCare’s Medicare Extension plan is the best choiceNovember 21, 2022
As a GIC Medicare member, you’ll choose your plan during the GIC’s annual enrollment period in April. Even though it’s currently Medicare’s open enrollment season – and you’ve probably been bombarded with insurance advertising – there’s no action you need to take.
Here’s a quick comparison of two types of Medicare plans:
- Supplemental plans, like UniCare’s Medicare Extension (sometimes called “Medigap” plans)
- Medicare Advantage plans
|UniCare’s Medicare Extension
(a Medicare supplemental plan)
|Common features of Medicare Advantage plans|
|Freedom to see the doctor you choose – There’s no network. You can use any provider that accepts Medicare.||Use network providers – You get full coverage as long as you use network providers. But there’s little or no coverage for out-of-network providers. And the list of network providers can change without warning.|
|Coverage across the U.S. – Medicare Extension is accepted anywhere Medicare is accepted.||Limited coverage areas – Outside of the network coverage area, only emergency and urgent services are covered.|
|No PCP or referral requirements – You don’t have to select a primary care provider, and you don’t need a referral to see the specialist you choose.||PCPs and referrals are required – You must select a primary care provider (PCP), and you’ll need a referral to see a specialist. You’ll probably need preapproval for services like lab tests, imaging, and physical therapy.|
|Lower out-of-pocket costs – UniCare’s Medicare Extension plan covers most or all of the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Copays, where they apply, are usually lower than in Advantage plans.||Higher out-of-pocket costs – Although federal law requires that Advantage out-of-pocket costs be capped, the cap can be as high as $10,000 a year.|
Choose Medicare Extension if you want to:
Consider an Advantage plan if you:
To learn more about specific Medicare plans offered by the GIC, go to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/gic-medicare-health-plans. To learn more about Medicare Extension benefits, see https://www.unicaremass.com/docs/inline/UniCMA_Benefits_Summary_MedExt.pdf.