Did you know that you may be able to improve your Medicare coverage with an alternative to Medicare Supplement Insurance? While Medicare Supplement Plans work with Original Medicare to fill in benefit gaps, you can also choose to effectively replace Medicare with one of several Medicare Advantage Plans.
These plans are offered by private insurance companies and are known as “Part C” or “MA Plans.” Medicare Advantage Plans combine Medicare Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D benefits. To enroll in an MA Plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B and must live in an area where an MA plan is available.
Medicare Advantage Plans may expand traditional Medicare coverage to include benefits for dental, hearing and visual health care services. With an MA Plan, no health questions are asked. All Medicare beneficiaries are guaranteed acceptance regardless of pre-existing health problems with the exception of End Stage Renal Disease. If you have an MA Plan when you develop that disease, you can keep your MA Plan, though.
MA Plans do have some disadvantages. They typically restrict your selection of doctors and hospitals for non-emergency or non-urgent care. In addition, you’ll most likely need to have a referral in order to see a specialist. To learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, take advantage of our online educational resources.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.