Health Insurance Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are different from Medicare supplements in that they offer several advantages. 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 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. Individuals could be responsible for the remaining portion of the Medicare supplement company and Medicare. 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. This could mean that the individual will be responsible for either a copay, or a maximum amount.
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 commonly referred to by the MAPD (Medicare Advantage Prescription drug) plan. 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 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. The availability of plan access can vary greatly from one county to the next. A $0 monthly premium plan, for example, may be available in one county but not in another.