Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

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 Advantage plan.

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.