What is Medicare Advantage?
Turning 65 soon? If so, there’s an important decision to make. Stick with Original Medicare or elect Medicare Advantage?
Before you make that decision, here are a few things you should know about Medicare Advantage.
- A Medicare Advantage plan, such as an HMO or PPO, is a way to get Medicare benefits. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare offer these plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA plans.” Unlike Original Medicare, in which the government pays providers on a fee-for-service basis, Medicare pays these plans a predetermined amount per beneficiary to provide Medicare services to plan members.
- For persons who have elected Medicare Advantage,that plan becomes their Medicare. The plan must provide the services covered by Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance, of Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans also incorporate Part D, prescription drug coverage.
- Medicare beneficiaries must choose a Medicare Advantage plan, the one that seems most appropriate for their particular circumstances. If they don’t select one, they will have Original Medicare coverage automatically.
- Once enrolled in a plan, beneficiaries deal directly with their insurance companies, showing their insurance ID cards, not their Medicare cards, when receiving services.