Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are plans offered by private companies that cover the same benefits offered in Medicare Part A and Part B (as well as some additional benefits not found in traditional Medicare).
By selecting a MA plan, you are choosing to have a private company to manage your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Some MA plans will cover prescription benefits others do not. Please Note: Medicare Advantage is very different than Medigap.
What does Medicare Advantage Cover?
Medicare Advantage (MA) is required to cover at a minimum the equivalent benefits offered in Original Medicare.
MA plans can also cover dental, vision and prescription drugs. It is important to review the benefits of the plan you are considering to see what exactly will be offered in the plan.
How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost?
Medicare Advantage (MA) can be very affordable. Plans with no prescription drug benefits are sometimes available at no cost. In order to keep the cost low many MA plans have a much smaller network of doctors.
If you want an MA plan with drugs it could be more expensive.
Check out what the cost would be for you by getting a quote.
Can I switch Medicare Advantage Plans?
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have Open Enrollment every year from October 1st to December 7th. This means you can switch for one MA plan or provider to another once a year. Any change you make during the Open Enrollment period will take effect on January 1st of the next year.
Can I drop Medicare Advantage?
Each year you may “disenroll” from your current Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and return to Original Medicare. Changes to your coverage start the first day of the month following your request to drop. You will have the chance to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan after you cancel your MA plan.
Remember, if you drop your MA plan and want to join a Medigap plan, you will most likely be subject to medical review for approval. Medigap typically only offers guaranteed approval during initial enrollment (normally when you turn 65).
Can I Apply for Medicare Advantage if I’m under 65?
There are two ways to apply for a Medicare Advantage plan if you are under 65:
- If you are almost 65 and preparing for Medicare
- If you are under 65 and qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B and do NOT have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) you may qualify for Medicare Advantage.
Check our updated article on Under 65 Medigap State Rules.