Medicare Advantage Tactics
Medicare Advantage plans can be distinguished from Medicare supplement coverage by having many differences. I recommend to my clients that Medicare Advantage plans be considered alternatives to Original Medicare coverage. Original Medicare covers Parts A and BC. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C or MA plans, are part of Original Medicare. Original Medicare doesn’t cover Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans have to include all of the services Original Medicare covers.
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 will bill 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. 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 commonly referred to by the MAPD (Medicare Advantage Prescription drug) plan. 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 come with a premium. These premiums can vary greatly. 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 plans varies from one county. For example, in one county, a $0 monthly premium policy may be available. However, it may not be in another.