Medicare Advantage Plans are only available to you where you live. Here in SLO county, we have four plans available to us. Each plan offers a different premium, two of which have NO monthly premium. Even though we are fortunate to have four plans, they all use one or both of the two doctor networks available. Those networks are Central Coast Physicians Network (CCPN) or Physicians Choice Medical Group. It is important to find out which network your physicians belong to before deciding on what plan to enroll in. Because all of the Medicare Advantage plans in our area this year are HMO plans, they require that you choose a primary care doctor in the associated network and if you need to see a specialist, the PCP will be responsible to process the referral. Members needing assistance in expediting referrals with CCPN, please contact me and I can assist.
Another thing to know about our local physician medical groups is that CCPN is backed by Tenet which is why they use Sierra Vista and Twin Cities Hospital where Physicians Choice Medical Group is backed by Dignity and uses Arroyo Grande Hospital, French Hospital and Marian Regional Medical Center. So if you have a preference in which hospital you want to use, its important to take that into consideration before choosing a plan.
So the take away is that not all plans are created equal…and price is not the only important feature.