Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans offer many advantages over Medicare supplements. My clients are advised to consider Medicare Advantage plans 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 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 private supplement companies have paid their portion, individuals might be responsible for the rest. Medicare Advantage plans include private insurance companies being billed. 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. An individual may have to pay a copay (or deductible) for the services received.
Medicare Advantage plans can sometimes be called “all in one” plans, as they include other coverages. Part C plans can include prescription drug coverage. These plans are sometimes referred as MAPD plans (Medicare Advantage prescription drug). 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 come with a premium. These premiums can vary greatly. Some plans have a $0 monthly cost. Individuals still need to pay Part B premium to be able to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Access to plans varies from one county. A $0 monthly premium plan, for example, may be available in one county but not in another.