Navigating Medicare coverage can be overwhelming. There are different parts and different rules and requirements for each part. As a result, it is easy to get confused. Here's what you need to know about Medicare Advantage coverage, commonly referred to as Part C or MA plans.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a part of the federal government's healthcare program for seniors and is designed to provide coverage for healthcare costs. There are several parts to the plan, including:
- Part A. Covers in-patient hospital stays, skilled nursing care, and hospice services.
- Part B. Covers preventive services like lab tests, doctor visits, some vaccinations, and certain types of durable medical equipment.
- Part C (Medicare Advantage coverage). This is a type of plan you purchase from a private insurer that augments or replaces Parts A and B and can include additional benefits such as coverage for vision, hearing, and dental.
- Part D. Covers pharmaceuticals.
MA plans differ from original Medicare in many ways, so it is important to understand what you need before you enroll.
Who Needs Medicare Advantage?
Anyone who is 65 or older is eligible for Medicare. Therefore, they are also eligible for additional coverage offered in an MA plan.
The main difference between MA plans and original Medicare is that the former offers additional benefits such as vision, dental, hearing, and even gym memberships. Additionally, some MA plans offer lower premiums than Original Medicare Part A & B alone, which could be beneficial for those on a tight budget who still need comprehensive coverage.
What Are the Benefits of Medicare Advantage Coverage?
There are many benefits of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, including:
- Comprehensive. You will have access to comprehensive coverage that includes services not covered by traditional Medicare coverage.
- Prescriptions. Additionally, most MA plans include prescription drug coverage, saving you money if you require frequent medications.
- Extra protection. If you have a chronic condition or require long-term medical care, a Medicare Advantage plan can provide extra protection since they often offer more coverage than Medicare alone.
Additionally, selecting the plan most suitable for your needs gives you more control over your coverage and your healthcare decisions.
Medicare Advantage plans can be an excellent option for those looking for additional coverage beyond what Medicare provides. If you are considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, it is important to do your research first so that you can find the right plan for your needs and budget.