Medicare Advantage Plans are health plan options that are
approved by Medicare but run by private companies. They are part
of the Medicare Program, and sometimes called "Part C." When you
join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are still in Medicare. (see
Medicare Part C) With Medicare Advantage Plans:
- Some of the plans require referrals to see specialists.
- In many cases, the premiums or the costs of services
(co-pays and deductibles ) can be lower than they are in the
Original Medicare Plan or the Original Medicare Plan with a
Medigap policy. Medicare Health Plans charge different
premiums and have different costs of services, so it is
important to check with the plan before you join.
- The plans provide all of your Part A (hospital) and Part B
(medical) coverage and must cover medically-necessary
- They often have networks, which means you may have to see
doctors who belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to
get covered services.
- They generally offer extra benefits, and many include
prescription drug coverage.
- In many cases, your costs for prescription drug coverage
can be lower than in the stand-alone Medicare Prescription
- Some of the plans coordinate your care, using networks and
referrals, more than others. This can help manage your overall
care and can also result in savings to you.
- You don't need to buy a Medigap policy.
Medicare Health Plans include:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO),
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO),
- Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans,
- Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans,
- Medicare Special Needs Plans.