Medicare Advantage provides a coordinated network of healthcare providers to help you pay less out-of-pocket. It’s inexpensive, with plenty of options to get the coverage you need.
Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is often referred to as an “alternative” to Original Medicare (Part A and B), but it doesn’t actually replace your Original Medicare coverage. It provides the same coverage as Original Medicare, but can also provide additional benefits, such as dental, hearing, vision, prescription drug coverage, and more.
You have to be enrolled in Original Medicare first before you can enroll in Medicare Advantage, and you have to stay enrolled in Original Medicare to keep your coverage through Medicare Advantage.
You’ll still need to pay your Part A and B premiums and deductibles, but rather than paying standard coinsurance and copayments, receiving in-network care through a Medicare Advantage plan will reduce them by quite a bit. No matter the type of Advantage plan you choose, all care within its network will always cost less.
There are five types of Medicare Advantage plans:
HMOs are cheaper than other Medicare Advantage plans. They require plan members to use their in-network providers and choose a primary care doctor.
PPOs offer more flexibility. You can use out-of-network providers but at a higher cost. Plan members don’t have to choose a primary care doctor or get referrals to see specialists.
PFFS plans negotiate what you will pay and what they will pay for every visit, giving you the benefit of knowing what your costs will be beforehand. You can see any doctor who accepts the terms and conditions of your PFFS plan.
MSA plans use a savings account and high deductible plan to pay for medical costs.
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