Types of Medicare Advantage Plans
Not all Medicare Advantage plans work the same way. If you have chosen to enroll in a Part C plan, you will need to understand how the different types work so that you can decide which one will suit your needs. There are five kinds of Medicare Advantage plans to consider.
The Five Types Part C Plans
All of these plans are designed to fill in the gaps in coverage from Original Medicare. Although their goal is the same as that of Medicare supplement plans, the two are vastly different.
Medicare Advantage and Enrollment and Eligibility
To be eligible for a Part C plan, you must already be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. As long as that requirement has been met, the only individuals ineligible for a Part C plan are those with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
These need to apply if you are to be considered eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan:
- You live in the service area of the plan you want to join. The plan you wish to enroll in can give you more information about its service area. If you live in another state for part of the year, ask if the plan will cover you there.
- You have Medicare Part A and Part B.
- You’re a U.S. citizen or lawfully present in the U.S.
There are certain times each year when you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. It is usually best to enroll in a plan by calling 1-800-MEDICARE, rather than by calling the new plan.
Medicare Advantage Costs
Currently, about 30% of Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan rather than a Medicare supplement. The driving factor is usually the cost. Medicare Advantage plans typically have much lower premiums. However, it is important to understand that no matter which one you enroll in, you will still be responsible for the Medicare Part B premium.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, your insurance carrier is responsible for your medical bills. You will still pay for expenses and services you receive from providers and be expected to pay for the copays associated with the plan.
Medicare Advantage and Drug Coverage
Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, so it is uncommon for Part C members to also enroll in a Part D plan. That being said, it is important that you look at the plan’s drug formulary to make sure your medications are covered under the policy.
Now, let’s briefly discuss each type of Medicare Advantage plan.