BIG RAPIDS — Senior citizens who use Medicare benefits need to review their coverage options annually.

Seniors should know there are specific times when they can make changes to their coverage. During this time period — October through December — seniors also may consider adding a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and/or Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

“Medicare Advantage Plans are a type of Medicare health plan offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B benefits,” said Tom Knoerl, VP Finance, Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals.

Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.

“For people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, services are covered through that plan, not traditional Medicare,” said Knoerl, adding that most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.

Spectrum Health has identified its contracted Medicare providers for 2015:

  • Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital will accept Blue Care Network Medicare Advantage, Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare + Blue, Humana Medicare (Choice Care) and Priority Health Medicare.
  • Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital will accept Blue Care Network Medicare Advantage and Priority Health Medicare.
  • Spectrum Health Hospital Group will accept Blue Care Network Medicare Advantage and Priority Health Medicare.
  • Spectrum Health Hospital Group (Professional) will accept Blue Care Network Medicare Advantage and Priority Health Medicare.