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Learn about Medicare

Medicare Part C: MedicareAdvantage

Medicare Part C is also called Medicare Advantage (MA). It's an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage may include prescription drug coverage, along with extra benefits, and is offered through private insurance companies. An MA plan is the only option that includes hospital, medical and prescription drug coverage with one ID card.

Is there a monthly premium?

Yes. You pay your Medicare Advantage plan premium, as well as your Part B and Part A premiums, if necessary.

In general, Medicare Advantage:

  • Offers the same or greater benefits than Original Medicare
  • May include extras like wellness, vision, hearing and dental care, plus fitness club membership
  • Often includes prescription drug coverage, if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with Medicare prescription drug coverage
  • May have copays, deductibles and/or coinsurance for covered services
  • Protects you with an annual out-of-pocket cost maximum, which limits how much you pay each year for medical services
  • May require you to see doctors in their network

There are several Medicare Advantage plan options:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

    use a network of doctors and hospitals to lower your costs.
  • Preferred-Provider Organizations (PPOs)

    offer all the benefits of an (HMO) and also let you choose doctors and hospitals outside of a network.
  • Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS)

    require no special networks or providers. You can visit any doctor or hospital that is eligible to receive payment from Medicare, agrees to treat you and accepts the plan's terms and conditions.
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

    are designed to meet the specific needs of Medicare beneficiaries who meet one of the following criteria:
    • Are eligible for state Medicaid health insurance
    • Have needed or are expected to need the services provided by a long term care or skilled nursing facility for 90 days or longer
    • Have a specific severe or disabling chronic condition
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