Medicare Advantage plans are alternatives to Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans focused on you.
Sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C or MA plans, these plans are an alternative to Original Medicare Parts A and B. These plans have many things in common with Original Medicare, but they may also offer expanded benefits that aren’t available otherwise.
These are plans that usually act as a bundle for Medicare Parts A and B. In many cases, they may also include Part D and prescription drug benefits. Some plans may also include vision, hearing, and dental plans, making them more attractive than Original Medicare, which does not offer these benefits.
In addition to the expanded coverage noted above, there are other reasons a person may choose to enroll in an Advantage plan. While Original Medicare requires you to see a Medicare provider, some Advantage plans allow for out-of-network coverage, although this tends to cost more. Unlike Original Medicare, Advantage plans often have limits on out-of-pocket costs, which can take some of the guesswork out of anticipating expenses for those on a fixed income. Here are more examples of benefits:
- Plans may cost less.
- Plans may offer more coverage options.
- Plans may combine health and prescription coverage.
These plans contract with Medicare and also follow the Medicare rules and regulations. They are also reimbursed by the United States government. These plans can charge different premiums, copays, and deductibles than Original Medicare, and these will often differ from plan to plan. The plans are provided through private insurance companies, which allows someone who has Parts A, B, and D to have all their coverage managed by one company.
It is possible to buy a Medicare Advantage that does not include prescription drug coverage. If you enroll in one that does not, such as a Medical Savings Account plan or a fee-for-service plan, you can still enroll in a separate Part D plan. However, if your Medicare Advantage plan does offer prescription drug coverage and you enroll in a separate Part D plan, you’ll be disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage plan and be placed into Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans do not work with Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) plans. Medigap plans are designed to cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments of Original Medicare. They cannot pay for the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare Advantage plans.
If you’d like to explore your options with Medicare Advantage plans, contact us to learn more.
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.
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