Medicare Advantage Plans
Don't be fooled by a Medicare Advantage Plan
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a health insurance program run by private insurance companies contracted by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans provide a completely different way to get Medicare benefits. Each Medicare Advantage Plan must provide services offered by Original Medicare, but can do so with different rules, costs and restrictions that can affect how and when you receive care. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are usually network restrictions. This means you are required to see the healthcare providers in the Medicare Advantage network; plus, in most cases, you will need to get prior approval when you need care, except in case of an emergency. The insurance companies have been given the ability to make their own claims decisions, and some claims decisions by the insurance companies have been made with profitability in mind.
"Are the benefits offered by a Medicare Advantage Plan such as eye and hearing examinations worth more than the freedom with Original Medicare? Original Medicare allows you to choose any healthcare provider in the USA that accepts Medicare patients - with no networks to worry about, no doctor referral needed and no prior approval required?" See Good Morning America's Video: Medicare Advantage Plan Denies Coverage.
Can I Use My Medicare Card with a Medicare Advantage Plan?
NO. You will NOT be able to use your red, white and blue Medicare card when you go to the hospital, doctor, specialist or any healthcare provider. This means you are no longer enrolled in the federal government-run health program. This means you must follow the rules of the Medicare Advantage Plan you have joined. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are required to use the Medicare Advantage Plan insurance card when you visit the healthcare providers in their network and NOT your Medicare card.
Don't Be Fooled by a Medicare Advantage Plan.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is COMPLETELY different from Original Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of Original Medicare, you are still required to pay the Medicare Part B premium.
Can I switch back to Original Medicare From a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Yes. You can switch back to Original Medicare during the annual election period from October 15 through December 7. However, you may NOT be eligible to switch to a Medicare supplement plan. In most cases, you will have to go through medical underwriting to qualify for a Medicare Supplement unless you are enrolling during your open enrollment or guaranteed issue period. If you wait until a later time to enroll in a Medicare supplement, you risk potential health issues that could prevent you from getting a Medicare Supplement in the future.
Medicare Advantage Plan vs. a Medicare Supplement Plan
Click to view videos: See what patients and doctors say about Medicare Advantage Plans.