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” or “MA Plans,” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage (Part D).
Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer coverage for things Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like some vision, hearing, dental, and fitness programs (like gym memberships or discounts). Plans can also choose to cover even more benefits. For example, some plans may offer coverage for services like transportation to doctor visits, over-the-counter drugs, and services that promote your health and wellness.
Medicare Advantage plans include:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Private Fee for Service (PPFS)
- Special Needs Plans (SNP)
- HMO Point of Service (HMO-POS)
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)
How does Medigap work? Original Medicare pays for much, but not all, of the cost for covered health care services and supplies. Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies sold by private companies, can help pay some of the remaining health care costs for covered services and supplies, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. Generally, Medigap doesn’t cover long-term care (like care in a nursing home), vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.
How does Medicare drug coverage work?
Medicare drug coverage helps pay for prescription drugs you need. Even if you don’t take prescription drugs now, you should consider getting Medicare drug coverage. Medicare drug coverage is optional and is offered to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to get it when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage (like drug coverage from an employer or union) or get Extra Help, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a Medicare-approved plan that offers drug coverage. Each plan can vary in cost and specific drugs covered.