Medicare Advantage (Part C) is an additional insurance plan that is offered by Medicare to help cover the health expenses that are not covered by Medicare Part A &B alone. To get Medicare Advantage you must already have Medicare Part A & B. This is an additional coverage policy and will have a premium associated with it just like Part B does.
Medicare Advantage offers its participants coverage that is much like a
HMO/PPO. You will receive all your coverage through this plan. In
addition to this type of coverage many Medicare Advantage plans also
cover prescriptions, private fee-for-service options as well as some
special needs coverage.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan you do not need Medigap insurance.
If you have gap insurance while you have Medicare Advantage it will not
work or cover any additional expenses. You should immediately cancel
any Medigap insurance when you have been accepted into a Medicare
Medicare Advantage policies are insurance plans that are maintained by
private insurers. This means that while each plan is required to offer
the same type of coverage, each plan will have different regulations and
fees associated with the plan. It is very important that you carefully
research your plan prior to committing to one so you are aware of your
coverage and requirements.
Medicare Advantage plans are often cheaper than regular Medicare costs
because they cover more of your deductibles and co-payments. But, unlike
regular Medicare, you may be required to have referrals to see a
specialist and stick to the doctors that are authorized within their
network. Much like a regular HMO these types of plans can become very
tricky in seeking treatment of a specific nature.
You should always review the plan carefully to make sure that you are
going to receive the benefits you need to maintain your health. It might
be wise to look for a PPO plan that offers a wider range of medical
options. PPO plans will allow you to broaden your range of doctors who
can treat you as well as many times skip referrals and head to a
specialist at the onset of any problems.
Currently the new administration in the government is trying to
“overhaul” healthcare in this country. Medicare is one of the programs
that is intended for these changes. It is imperative that you become
aware of any and all changes that take place in your Medicare Advantage
policies due to these congressional rules. It is too early to tell yet
if these changes will dramatically affect your policies. Make sure if
you receive any correspondence from your insurer that you read it
carefully to make sure you are aware of any changes.