You may be interested to know that there are ways you can expand on your Medicare coverage outside of just enrolling in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). A Medicare Advantage plan is one of the ways you can do that. Medicare Advantage plans (also referred to as Part C or MA plans) offer at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, except one major benefit of Medicare Part C is that plans can provide a range of benefits not included in Part A and Part B such as routine vision, dental, prescription drugs and health wellness programs.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies and are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. While Original Medicare covers the services that a Medicare beneficiary receives from doctors or healthcare facilities that accept Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans give their members a specific network of providers and healthcare facilities from which they can receive services. Those who enroll in a Medicare Advantage plans are still required to pay their Part B premium, as well as any premium they may have for their Medicare Advantage plan. (Not all MA plans have a premium). You are eligible to enroll in a MA plan if:
- You are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B
- You live in the MA plan's service area
- You do not have End Stage Renal Disease (with some exceptions)
Benefits, cost and plan availability will vary by insurance company and location. In addition that may also be a variety of different MA plans available to you in your service area. Some of these plan types can include:
- Health Maintenance Organization plans (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- HMO Point of Service plans (POS)
- Private Fee-For-Service plans (PFFS)
- Special Needs plans (SNP)
- Medical Savings Account plans (MSA)
Understanding all of your options when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans will help you to be a better informed consumer as you consider the type of coverage that may work best for your healthcare needs. Over the next 6 weeks we will break down the types of Medicare Advantage plans to help you better understand what they are, and how they work.
Not sure if you need a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement plan? Take our questionnaire!
Would you like more information about Medicare Advantage plans in your area? Give one of our licensed agents a call: