Medicare Advantage Plans In 2013
What Are Medicare Advantage Plans?
To help pay the costs that original Medicare does not cover, you can enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans (also called Medicare Part C).
Under Medicare Part C, the federal government contracts with private insurance companies to administer Medicare benefits. Advantage plans will provide all of your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Many plans include additional benefits such as coverage for extra days in the hospital, vision, dental, hearing, preventive services like annual physicals, coverage of emergency services while traveling, or health and wellness programs, and Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Different Types Of Medicare Advantage Plans
The benefits, rules and premiums will vary depending upon the plan you choose. Your plan may have out-of-pocket costs or certain rules for how you can get medical services, e.g. that you need a referral to see a specialist. The most common types of Medicare Advantage plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans or Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans. But no matter which you select, you are always covered for emergency and urgent care, and your policy must cover all services covered by original Medicare – except hospice care, which is always covered by Medicare.
Some advantage plans even offer additional health coverage at zero additional cost over your Part B premium!
You can join a Medicare Advantage plan:
- When you first get Medicare (Initial Enrollment Period)
- During certain times each year (Annual Enrollment Period)
- Under specific circumstances (Special Enrollment Period)
Insurance companies offer a wide variety of Medicare advantage plans – so before you join, make sure to compare the benefits and premiums of the plans that are available in your area!