Medicare Advantage Plans Are Often Useless
A Medicare Advantage Plan is another choice for a Medicare health plan. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. A Medicare Advantage Plan is completely different from Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your coverage is provided by the insurance company and NOT by Original Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can NOT use your red, white and blue Medicare Card. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must still pay your Medicare Part B premium. You cannot be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage Plan and Original Medicare at the same time.
Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering your Medicare Advantage Plan. These companies must follow the rules set by Medicare. However, MA Plans are not "standardized." Each 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 if you have to go to only doctors, facilities or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care). These rules can change each year. So your coverage can change from year to year.
You must live in the plan's service area. In most cases, other than during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can join only during certain times of the year.
Medicare Advantage Plan vs. a Medicare Supplement Plan
Medicare Advantage plans are privatized Medicare run by for-profit insurance companies. These insurance companies have been given the ability to make their own claims decisions, and some claims decisions have been known to be made with profitability in mind. We think that Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan offer you the best choice. Click to view videos: