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What You Need to Know About Medicare Advantage Plans

When the word Medicare is mentioned, a lot of people think of Original Medicare, which comprises of Part A [hospital coverage] and Part B [medical coverage]. Did you know there are other Medicare plan alternatives?

 For instance, did you know you can get Part A and B benefits through an individual, Medicare-recommended, private insurance company? That’s what this plan, also called Medicare Part C, is all about!

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan

These include healthcare maintenance firms, private fee-for-service, preferred providers, medical savings account, and special needs plans. For those registered, most of the Medicare services will be catered for through the plan, but not under Original Medicare. Also, many of the plans provide prescription drugs coverage and other benefits.

Do I Qualify

 You can join if you meet the below conditions:

  • You have both the Original Medicare Part A and B
  • You’re in the service region of the plan you wish to join
  • You don’t suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

 How Do I Register

 You must have both Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. It’s good to note not all plans work the same, so it pays to take your time and compare the different plans in your area before settling. If you’re still not sure which plan to choose, you can call our team of advisers who will help you choose a plan that suits your needs.

 Once you have understand how different plans work, their rules, and costs, we will take you through the step by step procedure of signing up for the particular plan you would’ve chosen.

Note when joining, you’re required to have your Medicare number as well as the date your Original Medicare Part A and B cover started.

 This information can be found on your Medicare card. Also note, after joining, you’ll no longer have Original Medicare. You’ll only be required to produce the card to be able to see a doctor or seek medical attention at the hospital.

Are All My Prescription Drugs Covered

MA plan also provides you with prescription drug coverage [Part D]. For some of the plans don’t provide drug coverage, you can buy a plan for Medicare Prescription Drugs.

You risk being dismissed and taken back to Original Medicare if both of the two scenarios below apply to you.

  • You’re on a Medicare Prescription Plan
  • Your policy includes drug coverage

What You Need to Know About Medicare Advantage Plans

Does the Medicare Advantage Plan Work in a Similar Way as a Medigap Policy

No, it doesn’t. Medicare Supplement insurance coverage (Medigap) is a policy provided by a private insurance company. It only works with the Primary Medicare and helps pay your portion [deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance] of expenses of the Medicare-provided services. On the other hand, a MA policy is provided through a Medicare-approved private insurer and covers Medicare Part A and B services.

Can I Cancel at Anytime

No. There are restrictions when it comes to when you can enroll with or cancel your Advantage Plan. For most plans, you can only make an amendment during a yearly election period or during the Open Enrollment period. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is January 1st – February 14th.