Medicare Advantage plans (also called Medicare Part C) are also sold by private insurance companies, but they are used as an alternative your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.
They are Medicare-approved private health insurance plans for individuals enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. When you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you are still in the Medicare program and must continue paying your Part B premium. Medicare Advantage plans provide all of your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage. They generally offer additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing, and many include prescription drug coverage. These plans often have networks, which mean you may have to see certain doctors and go to certain hospitals in the plan’s network to get care.
Medicare Advantage plans may potentially save you money because out-of-pocket costs in these plans can be lower than with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, in some cases. Pricing will vary by plan provider, so it’s worthwhile to compare all plans in your area. Your costs will vary by the services you use and the type of plan you purchase. Each Medicare Advantage 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 can use only doctors, facilities, or suppliers in the network).