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Medicare Advantage

Also known as Medicare Part C or MA Plans

Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage, and many offer dental, vision and hearing. Medicare Advantage Plans usually have an HMO or PPO network of doctors.

The 10 standard Medigap plans are marked by the letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N. Once enrolled in a Medicare Supplement, your plan will pick up the portion of your bill, after Original Medicare has paid its claims. Keep in mind, Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs – that’s where Medicare Part D comes into play.

medicare advantage in depth

Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers except hospice care. However, Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans, you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). In addition to your Part B premium, you usually pay one monthly premium for the plan’s medical and prescription drug coverage. However, some Medicare Advantage Plans do not have a premium.

how to enroll in medicare advantage

In order to be eligible to join a plan, you must have Medicare Parts A and B and live in the plan’s service area. People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure) generally can’t join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Once you understand the costs, benefits, and rules related to your preferred Medicare Advantage Plan you will be able to enroll into the plan when you turn 65 or during a Special Enrollment Period. If you are already on a Medicare Advantage Plan you can switch your plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period which runs from October 15th – December 7th every year.

Here are a few perks that people tend to like about Medicare Advantage

  • The premiums are typically lower than Medicare Supplement plans ($0 to more than $100/month). 

  • Most plans include prescription drug coverage, and some include other benefits like dental and vision.

  • One single card needed with everything in one place 

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