Call now for a quote: (877) 626-1943

Learn » Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage Guides

Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Medicare Parts A & B and is offered by private insurance companies.

Most Popular Questions About Medicare Advantage

Q: What Is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is a privately-run alternative for Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B), with smaller doctor networks but extra benefits. Medicare Advantage is formally known as Medicare Part C.

If you choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage, it will replace your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage enrollees need to continue paying any Part A and Part B premiums to stay enrolled in the program. However, Part C offers all of the services that are included in Medicare Part A and B.

Medicare Advantage operates more like traditional health insurance than Original Medicare. Multiple private insurers offer different Part C plans.

Out-of-Pocket Maximums Under Medicare Advantage: There’s a limit to the amount that any Medicare Advantage plan can ask you to pay in a single year. As of 2017, a plan can ask you to pay no more than $6,700 or less before you reach your annual out-of-pocket maximum. Your monthly premiums and prescription drug costs don’t count towards your out-of-pocket maximum. You’ll still pay those costs if your out-of-pocket maximum is reached.

Medicare Advantage plans can also choose to provide additional benefits that are not offered by Parts A & B. You can bundle important benefits such as hearing aids, travel insurance and prescription drug coverage into your Part C plan. Unlike Original Medicare and Medigap, the benefits offered by your plan may change every year.

Taking the Next Steps

Review your Medicare coverage to see if it meets your needs. You can browse our selection of individual Medicare Advantage plans to find what’s right for you.

Get a Free Medicare Quote

  • Get an instant quote for Medicare plans
  • Compare prices from over 70 carriers
  • Find a plan that fits your budget
Please enter a valid US Zip Code

Q: Can I Have Both Medigap and Medicare Advantage?

It is against the law for anyone to knowingly sell you a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy if you plan to stay on Medicare Advantage, and vice versa. You don’t need Medicare Advantage if you already have Medicare Supplement. Each type of plan covers many of the same things, so you’d be wasting your money. This means that you can’t have both Medigap and Medicare Advantage at the same time.

Medigap VS Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplement plans are meant to fill your coverage gaps not paid for by Original Medicare (the government-run program also known as Medicare Part A and Part B). There are a number of blind spots in Original Medicare, any of which could burden seniors who lack supplementary coverage with significant out-of-pocket costs. Having a Medicare Supplement policy on top of Medicare Part A and Part B generally makes a lot of financial sense.

If you rely on Medicare Advantage coverage, you won’t need a Medicare Supplement plan. The two types of coverage aren’t even compatible, since each Medicare Advantage plan will have different cost-sharing rules than Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans operate similarly to what you’d find in traditional health insurance – they typically operate as an HMO, PPO or POS plan. Since Medicare Advantage’s provider network is more tightly managed than Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans can offer you insurance with fewer coverage gaps.

The rule against buying Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage at once protects Medicare beneficiaries from unknowingly buying something they don’t need.

Taking the Next Steps

For starters, don’t try to buy both types of supplementary coverage at once. Maybe compare each plan type and decide? Once you know what you want, we’d be delighted to give you a free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage quote.

Get a Free Medicare Quote

  • Get an instant quote for Medicare plans
  • Compare prices from over 70 carriers
  • Find a plan that fits your budget
Please enter a valid US Zip Code

Q: How Do Medicare Advantage Plans Work?

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, operates more like traditional health insurance than Original Medicare (Medicare Part A & Part B).

Enrolling in Medicare Part C/Medicare Advantage

To enroll in Medicare Advantage, you’ll have to choose a plan and sign up through a broker or insurer. Medicare Part C is offered by multiple private insurance companies. You can’t join a Medicare Advantage plan until you enroll in Original Medicare. If you decide to enroll in Medicare Part C, it will replace your Original Medicare coverage.

Once you enroll in Medicare Advantage, you’ll only interact with your insurer and their provider network. However, you’ll continue paying for Original Medicare, which the federal government will use to reimburse your Medicare Advantage insurer. Fortunately, your plan will help you consolidate these bills.

How Medicare Part C Works

Medicare Advantage plans work to cover all Original Medicare services and may offer additional benefits. Unlike Medicare Supplement plans, which are standardized no matter who sells them, private insurers can choose what their Part C plans offer. Insurers may define their own premiums, deductibles, copayments, and physician referral systems. Your Medicare Advantage plan will negotiate payments to doctors that may be higher than what they receive from Original Medicare. However, fewer doctors will be enrolled in your Medicare Advantage plan compared to Original Medicare.

Billing and Costs

Once you sign up for Part C, your billing and care may be consolidated. You can typically access all your medical services with just one card, choose a primary care physician, and pay for different treatments with a single bill.

The average Part C plan cost $31.40 per month in 2017. For a small additional premium, many Medicare Advantage plans cover prescription drug costs (replacing Medicare Part D coverage). Most Part C carriers have a zero-premium plan available, with higher copayments or fewer additional benefits.

Taking the Next Steps

You only need to enroll in Part C one time. We recommend visiting our Medicare Advantage comparison tool, or asking us to connect you with a local broker who can offer a free, no-obligation quote.

Get a Free Medicare Quote

  • Get an instant quote for Medicare plans
  • Compare prices from over 70 carriers
  • Find a plan that fits your budget
Please enter a valid US Zip Code

See all questions

Get a Free Medicare Advantage Quote

• Get an instant quote for Medicare Advantage plans

• Compare prices from over 14,000 plans

• Find a plan that fits your budget

Start considering your options today.

Get a Free Quote

image

Browse by Topic