Coverage Options

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What Coverage Options Do I Have?

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There are a number of ways you can receive Medicare coverage. Three common options are Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement insurance plans. Read below to learn more about each type before you choose the best plan for you.

Original Medicare consists of Medicare Part A and Part B, which cover hospital and medical costs. The government pays for Part A coverage through Medicare. For Part B, which is elective, you pay premiums by way of monthly deductions from your Social Security benefits. Original Medicare alone is not always enough to meet all your health care needs and can leave you with unexpected medical bills.

Medicare Advantage plans are available to you from health care organizations like Geisinger Gold. Medicare Advantage plans can offer more benefits than Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage plans limit the annual out-of-pocket expenses of their members to protect them financially in the event of a serious medical condition. Monthly premiums are the same regardless of your age or health history. When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, you have several different choices:

  • Healthcare Maintenance Organization plans (HMO) generally offer health care services from doctors or hospitals within the plan's network. This type of Medicare Advantage plan typically requires that you visit a primary care doctor, who can refer you to see another health care specialist. These plans often include more benefits than Original Medicare.
  • Medical Savings Account plans (MSA) combine a high-deductible health plan with a medical savings account that beneficiaries can use to manage their health care costs. The health plan, on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, fund each MSA with the appropriate deposit amount based on the selected plan.
  • Special Needs plans are available for those who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, those who live in facilities such as nursing homes, and those who have severe or disabling chronic conditions.
  • Preferred Provider Organization plans (PPO) offer network doctors and hospitals with the option to choose out-of-network providers, usually at an added cost. These plans do not require a referral from a primary care physician to see a specialist. PPO plans often cost more than other managed care plans, but are less restrictive in doctors you can see and hospitals you can use.

Medicare Supplement plans are a supplement to Original Medicare. These plans cover all or some of the unexpected bills you might incur when you have only Original Medicare. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan, but not both at the same time.

Medicare Part D provides additional coverage for prescription drugs regardless of your plan selection. Prescription drug coverage is included in some Medicare Advantage plans, or it can be purchased as an addition to a Medicare Supplement plan. If you choose not to enroll in Plan D when you turn 65, the cost will increase in the future.

Medical Savings Account Plans: MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.

Medicare MSA Plans don’t cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

You must file Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return, along with Form 8853, “Archer MSA and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts” with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for any distributions made from your Medicare MSA account to ensure you aren’t taxed on your MSA account withdrawals. You must file these tax forms for any year in which an MSA account withdrawal is made, even if you have no taxable income or other reason for filing a Form 1040. MSA account withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax free, while account withdrawals for non-medical expenses are subject to both income tax and a fifty (50) percent tax penalty. Tax publications are available on the IRS website at or from 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan at 1-800-482-8163 (TTY 711) for additional information.

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Contact us in the way that's most convenient for you
By Phone
Our Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Gold Sales Counselors are here to help you Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you are NOT yet a Geisinger Gold member:  1-800-482-8163 (711 TDD)
If you are currently a Geisinger Gold member:  1-800-498-9731 (711 TDD)
By Email
Fill out an online form and a Gold counselor will contact you with more information.
By US mail
Our address is: Geisinger Health Plan PO Box 8200 Danville, PA 17821-8200
Request an Info Packet
Complete an online form and we will mail an Info packet to you. 
Schedule a Meeting
Learn about Geisinger Gold and your Medicare options in the comfort of your home or at a Medicare GPS Seminar. Select the option below that works best for you! 
Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, HMO POS, HMO SNP, and MSA plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company/Geisinger Quality Options, Inc., health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal.
Y0032_H8468_13274_1 CMS Approved 11/19/13
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