If you’ve ever shopped at a big box wholesaler such as Costco or Sam’s Club, chances are you’ve bought a whole lot of something at a very reasonable price. For our purposes, let’s say strawberries. So, you’re sitting at home enjoying your strawberries when the next thing you know it’s been a week and you still have half a box left. And as strawberries tend to do, they begin to go bad and you end up throwing some out. In the end, what was originally intended to help you save really just led to you wasting money.
Well, in some ways, that’s what a limited network plan prevents you from doing: wasting money. You will enjoy the same benefits as the wider network plans, but will most likely save money because limited network plans have a smaller network of providers.
A limited network plan is ideal for Medicare beneficiaries who receive all their health care needs at a particular hospital network. That means if your providers (primary care doctors and specialists) all practice at the same hospital that you go to, then they may be participating in a limited network plan that a health insurer is offering.
Other reasons to consider a limited network plan are the low copays and premiums, prescription drug benefits, worldwide emergency coverage, and monthly stipends that go towards gym membership dues.
One common question about limited network plans is whether you can go to another network to see a specialist. These type of requests are often at the discretion of the plan provider, but in most cases if a specialist is not offered in your current network, then the plan provider will cover you outside the limited plan network.
In an exciting partnership unique to Alabama, Viva Medicare teamed up with both Brookwood Baptist Health System and St. Vincent’s Health System to deliver a quality Medicare Advantage plan for less money. This limited network plan (simply called Viva Medicare Me) rewards members for using doctors and specialists in each particular hospital network. It focuses on what matters most to members: $0 per month premium, lower copays and deductibles, no copays for Tier 1 generic drugs from certain pharmacies, and other money saving features. To learn more about this plan, speak to a Viva Medicare Guardian Agent by calling 888-830-8482.
So, before deciding whether to enroll in a limited network plan, evaluate your health care needs. Are your doctors and specialists all in the same hospital network? If so, participating in a limited network plan may be able to save you money down the road.