Medicare Conveniences Plans
Medicare Advantage plans differ from Medicare Supplements in many ways. My clients often think of Medicare Advantage plans in addition to Original Medicare coverage. Original Medicare includes Parts A, B and Medicare Advantage plans are sometimes called Part C or MA plans. Original Medicare only covers Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans must also cover all services not covered by Original Medicare.
Original Medicare allows providers to bill Medicare initially and then later bill a Supplement Company. After Medicare and the private supplement companies have paid their respective portions, the individuals could be responsible to pay the remainder. Medicare Advantage plans are billed by the private insurance company. An example: If an individual is enrolled in a Part C (MA) plan with company XYZ and visits a primary care physician or seeks treatment at a hospital, then the bill will be sent directly to company XYZ. Not Medicare. In this instance, the individual might be responsible to pay a copay or deductible.
Medicare Advantage plans sometimes are called “all – in-one” plans. They include coverages that go beyond just medical. Part C plans may include prescription drug coverage. These plans are also known as MAPD (Medicare Benefit Prescription Drug) plans. Some plans provide coverage for vision, hearing, dental, wellness, and/or other benefits. Medicare Advantage plans come in many forms and must be evaluated individually.
Medicare Advantage plans can have a premium. These premiums are variable. Some plans have a $0 monthly cost. However, to be eligible for Medicare Advantage plans, the individual must still pay the Part B premium. Access to a plan varies by county. For example, in one county, a $0 monthly premium policy may be available. However, it may not be in another.