These are plans that usually act as a bundle for Medicare Parts A and B. In many cases, they may also include Part D and prescription drug benefits. Some plans may also include vision, hearing, and dental plans, making them more attractive than Original Medicare, which does not offer these benefits.
In addition to the expanded coverage noted above, there are other reasons a person may choose to enroll in an Advantage plan. While Original Medicare requires you to see a Medicare provider, some Advantage plans allow for out-of-network coverage, although this tends to cost more. Unlike Original Medicare, Advantage plans often have limits on out-of-pocket costs, which can take some of the guesswork out of anticipating expenses for those on a fixed income. Here are more examples of benefits:
- Plans may cost less.
- Plans may offer more coverage options.
- Plans may combine health and prescription coverage.
These plans contract with Medicare and also follow the Medicare rules and regulations. They are also reimbursed by the United States government. These plans can charge different premiums, copays, and deductibles than Original Medicare, and these will often differ from plan to plan. The plans are provided through private insurance companies which allows coverage to be managed by one company.
It is possible to buy a Medicare Advantage Plan that does not include prescription drug coverage. If you enroll into one that does not, you need to maintain credible prescription drug coverage, such as VA or Tricare, to avoid a possible penalty in the future. Also, enrolling into a standalone, private Part D Prescription Drug Plan could automatically disenroll you from your Medicare Advantage Plan.
Advantage plans do not work with Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) plans. Medigap plans are designed to cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments of Original Medicare. They cannot pay for the out-of-pocket costs of Advantage plans.
If you’d like to explore your options with Medicare Advantage plans, contact us to learn more.
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