Important Details About Medicare Advantage Plans
Think of Medicare Advantage as an alternative to Original Medicare Parts A and B because it replaces your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage is also known as “Medicare Plan C” or “MA” plans.
Medicare Advantage plans are heavily advertised on television, the internet, and radio, especially during Medicare enrollment season.
Before you understand Medicare Advantage, you need to understand Original Medicare and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are very different than Medicare Supplements.
Things to know about Medicare Advantage plans
- They replace your Original Medicare Parts A and B.
- You will no longer show your Original Medicare card when you receive a healthcare service. You will only provide your healthcare provider with your Medicare Advantage card.
- They are not standardized the same way as Medicare Supplements. This means some insurance companies can offer different perks and benefits.
- They can include coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services.
- They can include benefits for transportation to a doctor’s appointment.
- Some include discounts on gym memberships (e.g. Silver Sneakers program).
- Can include coupons for over-the-counter vitamins and medication.
- Premiums and benefits might vary from one company to the next.
- Have network restrictions and some restrictions are very high.
- Might not pay for inpatient physical or occupational therapy.
- Only preventative screenings and certain vaccinations might be covered at 100%. For everything else, you’ll probably have a deductible, coinsurance, or copay.
- Premiums can increase or decrease every year.
- Can include prescription drug coverage (called “MAPD”).
- You cannot enroll in a separate Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D) if you want prescription drug coverage. You must choose a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage.