Health Insurance Advantage Program
Medicare Advantage plans are different from Medicare supplements in that they offer several advantages. My clients should consider Medicare Advantage plans as an alternative to Original Medicare coverage. Original Medicare has Parts A & B. Medicare Advantage plans can be called Part C, or MA plans. Original Medicare is not covered by Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans must provide all the services Original Medicare provides.
Original Medicare is where providers bill Medicare first and then bill a supplement provider. 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. If an individual has a Part C plan (MA) with company XYZ, and visits his primary physician or receives services at a hospital for treatment, the bill will go 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 often called MAPD (Medicare Assistance Prescription Drug) plans. Some plans provide coverage for vision, hearing, dental, wellness, and/or other 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. There are plans that offer a $0 monthly Premium. However, Medicare Advantage plans do not require individuals to pay the Part A premium in order to sign up. 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.