Medicare Conveniences Program
Medicare Advantage plans are different from Medicare supplements in that they offer several advantages. My clients often think of Medicare Advantage plans in addition to Original Medicare coverage. Original Medicare has Parts A & B. Medicare Advantage plans can be called Part C, or MA plans. Original Medicare does not cover Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans must include all services.
Original Medicare providers first bill Medicare, then they 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 include private insurance companies being billed. If an individual who has a Part C or MA plan with company XYZ visits his primary doctor, or receives services in a hospital setting, the bill will be sent not to Medicare but to company XYZ. 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 often include prescription drug coverage. These plans are often called MAPD (Medicare Assistance Prescription Drug) plans. Some plans offer coverage for hearing, vision, wellness programs, and/or additional ancillary benefits. Medicare Advantage plans differ greatly so it is important to review each plan individually.
Medicare Advantage plans include a premium. These premiums are variable. Some plans have a $0 monthly cost. However, Medicare Advantage plans do not require individuals to pay the Part A premium in order to sign up. Access to plan options varies depending on where you live. A $0 monthly premium plan, for example, may be available in one county but not in another.