Expand your Medicare coverage with a Medicare Advantage Plan. Some plans may offer additional coverage for prescription drugs, dental and vision.
3 things to know about Medicare Advantage plans:
1. They are also known as Medicare Part C.
2. They are an alternative way to get Medicare coverage through private insurance companies instead of the federal government.
3. They provide the same benefits as Original Medicare and may include additional benefits such as dental, vision, prescription drug and wellness programs coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are a form of private health insurance that provide the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) and may include additional benefits such as dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are widely used in the United States. As of 2019, more than 20 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).1
All Medicare Advantage plans include the same standard benefits as Original Medicare.
Most Medicare Advantage plans also provide prescription drug coverage.
Some Part C plans may also cover benefits such as:
Some types of plans restrict your coverage to in-network health care providers.
More info: What does Medicare Part C cover?
If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have to pay some or all of the following expenses:
Some Medicare Advantage plans feature $0 premiums, though $0 premium plans aren't available in all locations.
In 2019, 45 percent of all Medicare Advantage plans available in the United States featured a $0 premium, and nearly 60 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries were enrolled in a $0 premium plan.2
There are 3 general eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicare Part C:
You enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurance company, not the government.
You must be enrolled in Original Medicare before you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement insurance policy at the same time.
If your Medicare Advantage plan does not include prescription drug coverage, you may be allowed to add a Medicare Part D plan as well.
More info: Medicare Advantage eligibility
Medicare requires that you enroll in, disenroll from, or make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan only during pre-determined enrollment periods.
If you are enrolling for the first time, you may be able to join a plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, which occurs around your 65th birthday, or around your 24th month of disability (if you’re under 65 and eligible for Medicare).
You also may be able to join or switch plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP, also commonly called the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage plans), which runs from October 15 to December 7 every year.
There are also Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) that may let you join a plan outside of the main enrollment periods, depending on your circumstances.
Qualifying circumstances for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period include, but aren't limited to:
More info: How to apply for a Medicare Advantage plan
The number of Medicare Advantage plans available to you will depend in part on where you live and how many companies offer coverage in your area.
There are 5 major types of Medicare Advantage plans:
The type of plan you choose may affect your prescription drug coverage options, referral requirements and network restrictions.
More info: Medicare Advantage plan options
You should review the following 4 factors before enrolling in a specific Medicare Advantage plan:
A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the above information for the Medicare Advantage plans that are available where you live.
More info: Comparing Medicare Advantage plans
A Medicare Advantage plan allows you to bundle your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits into a single plan.
If want coverage for prescription drugs, dental benefits, routine vision care and other benefits that aren't covered by Original Medicare, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan that offers those benefits.
Medicare Advantage plans also include an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, which Original Medicare doesn't cover. Out-of-pocket Medicare costs can add up quickly, and an out-of-pocket spending limit could potentially help you save money.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent to learn more about whether a Medicare Advantage plan may be right for you.