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3 Alternative Types of Medicare Health Plans

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The following types of plans don’t fall within traditional Medicare or the Medicare Advantage program and aren’t available in all parts of the country:

  • Medicare Cost plans: You can join a Medicare Cost plan even if you have only Medicare Part B. If you go to doctors and hospitals outside the plan’s provider network for Medicare-covered services, traditional Medicare helps pays for those services.

    You can join a Medicare Cost plan at any time (if it accepts new members), and you can disenroll from it and return to traditional Medicare at any time. If the plan doesn’t cover prescription drugs, you can enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan.

  • Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): These plans combine medical, social, and long-term care for frail people age 55 and older who are eligible for nursing home care but live in the community.

  • Medicare demonstration and pilot programs: Medicare uses these special projects from time to time in specific parts of the country to test new ideas for improving Medicare coverage. If you want to know whether any are available in your area and how they work, call Medicare at 800-633-4227 (TTY 877-486-2048) or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

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