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Q: What Is Medicare Advantage?

Asked by Anonymous on October 11, 2017

Hal Levy October 11, 2017

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.

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