Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are insurance plans that take over for your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage while providing additional benefits you would not receive through Medicare alone.
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How do you get Medicare Advantage plans?
If you are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, you are eligible for Medicare Advantage.
You will have to enroll in Parts A and B before you purchase an Advantage plan from a licensed Medicare insurance agent. You cannot drop them or you will lose your Part C plan.
When can I enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan?
You can enroll in one after you get Medicare Parts A and B. You can do this during your initial enrollment period which is three months before you turn 65 and lasts until three months after.
If you don’t get one during your initial enrollment period, there is also an annual election period and an open enrollment period.
The annual election period, or AEP, begins October 15 and runs through December 7 every year.
The Medicare Advantage open enrollment period is from January 1 through March 31.
During this time you can switch to another MA plan or disenroll and go back to Original Medicare.
You may also qualify for a special election period. If you have missed your initial enrollment or AEP and are interested in adding an Advantage plan to your health coverage, you can speak to a licensed Medicare agent to see if you qualify for a special election period.
What do Medicare Advantage plans cover?
Like we said earlier, these plans take over for your Part A and B coverage. So, they’ll cover Part A benefits: inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care.
They’ll also cover Part B benefits: medically necessary services and preventive services.
But they’ll also come with additional benefits not covered by Parts A and B like an out-of-pocket maximum limit and:
- Adult day-care services
- Fitness memberships
- Nutrition programs
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Services and supports for those with chronic conditions
- Transportation to doctor visits
- Wellness programs
However, benefits your plan offers will vary based on where you live.