Medicare Advantage Plans: The Different Types

Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plans are a relatively new addition to the healthcare industry. Medicare Part A makes payment for the admission of a Medicare beneficiary to a nursing home, hospice, hospital, or home health care. And although Part B of Medicare covers almost all of the medical expenses of a patient (ambulance, blood, etc.), a Medicare Advantage policy uses the best resources in Part A & B, including the bills for prescription drugs.

Advantage Plans have recently become popular due to the enormous benefits they offer. Because of them, Medicare beneficiaries can stay overtime in the hospital, pay low fees for medical appointments and often pay less for prescription drugs. In addition, you no longer need to be referred by your primary care physician; you can go to your doctor or hospital of your choice without any indication. It is easy to get such a plan because they are available through private insurance providers. Under the law, Parts A and B must be incorporated into Advantage Plans.

Medicare Advantage plans do not fill in the gaps in parts A and B. Instead, they replace Medicare with a private insurance plan. They are generally offered as HMO or PPO coverage, the plans generally have networks of doctors and hospitals that have signed up to provide services in exchange for member co-payments and the insurance company. HMO style plans require you to use only network providers, except in the case of a true medical emergency. PPO plans allow reduced benefits outside the network.

Medicare supplements tend to be more expensive than Advantage plans. The majority completes the gaps, leaving it with very little in direct costs. Advantage plans, on the other hand, have lower monthly costs, but generally pay more when you receive medical services.

Part C or Medicare Advantage Plans are the option provided to beneficiaries to receive their benefits through private health insurance plans. This is where you get the benefit of more than usual benefits, and you can add the Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries of Medicare benefit plans are also entitled to receive services from a larger number of providers than regular plans. Part D are prescription drug plans that help with one of the out-of-pocket costs in terms of required medications. Choosing a Medicare Advantage PPO network is less complicated because you can usually get services across the state, but usually only from a network of hospital providers. If you go south during winter, you should find services in this local network.