Common health insurance questions answered: What is medicare advantage?
If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you may have questions about Medicare Advantage. To start, what is the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?
- Original Medicare is the federal health insurance program for the aged, disabled and individuals with end stage renal disease.
- Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurance companies that contract with the federal government. These plans cover everything covered by Original Medicare. They usually include Part D prescription drug coverage and add extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive into the specifics of the Medicare Advantage plan:
Private companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan and Blue Care Network, contract with Medicare to offer these plans to individuals who purchase their own coverage and through employer and union groups. Medicare beneficiaries who buy their own coverage have many plan options to consider. Insurers often offer several different benefit plans with various benefit levels and monthly premiums. They include extras to make their plans more attractive to prospective members. Some enhancements to look for are:
- Lower copayments and coinsurance amounts
- Part D prescription drug coverage
- Extra hearing, dental and vision services
- Fitness club memberships
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