A number of our clients want to know how a Medicare Advantage plan works and how it is different from Medicare A and B and/or a Medicare Supplement plan. The fact is that Medicare Advantage plans are very different from standard Medicare A and B and a Supplement.
A Medicare Advantage plan is offered by a private insurance company. The plan takes over for Medicare A and B and is your primary insurance. When you have an advantage plan, you show the advantage plan card. The provider you see will then bill the advantage plan instead of billing traditional Medicare. This is not a good or bad thing. It is simply a different way to obtain you health and drug coverage. Your own unique health care needs will determine if you should go with a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement with a drug card. Here is a quick overview of the strengths and weaknesses of an Advantage plan. Read our Medicare Guide for more information CLICK HERE FOR MEDICARE GUIDE
Wikipedia also provides a good summary of Medicare Advantage plans along with multiple government links CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
Medicare Advantage Plans – Possitives
- $0 monthly premium on most plans
- Drug Benefit is included with the plan
- Preventative care is covered in full with no copays
- Works very well for those with VA coverage
- Extras such as Dental, Vision, Silver Sneakers, Etc…
- A number of plans and companies to choose from in most areas
Medicare Advantage Plans- Negatives
- The plans have networks that you need to use. Some plans allow in and out of network but the cost go up if you go out of network.
- You pay copays for services. Copays are higher for more expensive services such as Hospitalization or major medical tests.
- There are pre authorization requirements for some services
If you doctor does not participate or if you are receiving high volume care, you may be better off with a Medicare Supplement Plan.