Medicare/Seniors

Medicare Advantage (Part C)



How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still have Medicare. You'll get your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan and not Original Medicare.

Covered services in Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services. Most Medicare Advantage Plans also offer extra coverage, like vision, hearing and dental coverage. Learn more about what Medicare Advantage Plans cover.

Rules for Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care each month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare.

Each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs. They can also have different rules for how you get services, like:

  • Whether you need a referral to see a specialist
  • If you have to go to doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care

These rules can change each year.

Costs for Medicare Advantage Plans

What you pay in a Medicare Advantage Plan depends on several factors. Learn about these factors and how to get cost details.

Drug coverage in Medicare Advantage Plans

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage (Part D). You can join a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan with certain types of plans that:

  • Can’t offer drug coverage (like Medicare Medical Savings Account plans)
  • Choose not to offer drug coverage (like some Private Fee-for-Service plans)

You’ll be disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage Plan and returned to Original Medicare if both of these apply:

  • You’re in a Medicare Advantage HMO or PPO.
  • You join a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.                                

    14 things to know about Medicare Advantage Plans

    1. You're still in the Medicare Program.
    2. You still have Medicare rights and protections.  
    3. You still get complete Part A and Part B coverage through the plan.
    4. Your out-of-pocket costs are typically lower in a Medicare Advantage plan. So, this option may be more cost effective for you.
    5. You can only join a plan at certain times during the year. In most cases, you're enrolled in a plan for a year.
    6. You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan even if you have a pre-existing condition, except for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
    7. You can check with the plan before you get a service to find out:
      • If it's covered
      • What your costs may be
    8. Following plan rules, like getting a referral to see a specialist in the plan's networkcan keep your costs lower. Check with the plan.
    9. Go to a doctor, other health care provider, facility, or supplier that belongs to the plan's network, so your services are covered and your costs are less. In most cases, this applies to Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs.
    10. Providers can join or leave a plan’s provider network anytime during the year. Your plan can also change the providers in the network anytime during the year. If this happens, you may need to choose a new provider.
    11. If you join a clinical research study, some costs may be covered by your plan. Call your plan for more information. Get your plan's contact information from a Personalized Search (under General Search), or search by plan name.
    12. Medicare Advantage Plans can't charge more than Original Medicare for certain services like chemotherapy, dialysis, and skilled nursing facility care.
    13. Medicare Advantage Plans have a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for medical services. Once you reach this limit, you’ll pay nothing for covered services. Each plan can have a different limit, and the limit can change each year. You should consider this when choosing a plan.
    14. If the plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, you'll have to join another Medicare health plan or return to Original Medicare.




Medicare Supplement (MediGap)




A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy helps pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like:

  • Copayments
  • Coinsurance
  • Deductibles

Medigap policies are sold by private companies.

Some Medigap policies also cover services that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, here's what happens:

  • Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs.
  • Then, your Medigap policy pays its share.

A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.

8 things to know about Medigap policies 

  1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy. But, make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
  3. You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy. You pay this monthly premium in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
  4. A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you'll each have to buy separate policies.
  5. You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that's licensed in your state to sell one.
  6. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
  7. Some Medigap policies sold in the past cover prescription drugs. But, Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 aren't allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  8. It's illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.

Medigap policies don't cover everything

Medigap policies generally don't cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.




As independent sales agents, let us work to find the best plans for you from the major local carriers in our area.  Medicare can be confusing, we are here to help you navigate your options today!



    Jim Newett
   

    317-865-9151   
JNEWETT@EBGINDY.COM