What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
A Medicare Advantage Plan is another way to get your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage (Part D). There are several types of Medicare Advantage Plans; each have special rules about how you get your Medicare covered Part A and B services and your plan’s supplemental benefits. That is why we recommend you reach out to a licensed and certified specialist to help you navigate the options.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have Medicare but you’ll get most of your Part A and Part B coverage from your Medicare Advantage Plan, not Original Medicare.
You must use the card from your Medicare Advantage Plan to get your Medicare-covered services. Keep your red, white and blue Medicare card in a safe place because you’ll need it if you ever switch back to Original Medicare.
What do Medicare Advantage Plans cover?
Medicare Advantage Plans cover almost all Part A and Part B services. However, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Original Medicare will still cover the cost for hospice care, some new Medicare benefits, and some costs for clinical research studies. In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans, you’re always covered for emergency and urgent care.
Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer coverage, for some things Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like some vision, hearing, dental, and fitness programs (like gym memberships or discounts). Plans also have a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for all Part A and Part B medical services. Once you reach this limit, you’ll pay nothing for services Part A and Part B cover.
** Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans, 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, Maryland.