About Medicare Advantage Plans
A Medicare Advantage Plan is another choice for a Medicare health plan. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your coverage is provided by the insurance company and not by Original Medicare. You must still pay your Part B premium when you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. You cannot be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage Plan and Original Medicare at the same time.
Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering your Medicare Advantage Plan. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. However, MA Plans are not "standardized." Each plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services (like whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to only doctors, facilities or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care). These rules can change each year.
You must live in the plan's service area. In most cases, other than during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can join only during certain times of the year.
Medicare Advantage Plan vs. a Medicare Supplement Plan
Medicare Advantage plans are privatized Medicare run by for-profit insurance companies. These insurance companies have been given the ability to make their own claims decisions and some claims decisions have been known to be made with profitability in mind. Click to view videos:
Medicare Supplement Insurance Helpline: 1-800-290-6188