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3 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Medicare Advantage

By Zawn Villines
The best Medicare Advantage plans offer more coverage than Original Medicare. But you’ll need to shop around to find the right coverage for you.

In 2020, 39% of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Medicare Advantage is private health insurance available through the Medicare system. With this type of coverage, you’ll get the same Part A and Part B benefits that Original Medicare offers, but you can also get additional benefits, depending on the specific plan you sign up for. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about Medicare Advantage. 

Medicare Advantage Covers More Than Original Medicare 

Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. This includes hospital care, clinical services like doctor’s visits, and many medical treatments, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

You’ll still have the same rights and protections that you get with Original Medicare, but many Medicare Advantage plans cover additional services and most offer prescription drug coverage. 

You May Pay Less for Healthcare

You may end up paying less for healthcare with Medicare Advantage, especially if the plan offers coverage for care that you need but can’t get with Original Medicare. 

Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans limit your annual out-of-pocket costs. To ensure that you save money with a Medicare Advantage plan, consider doing the following: 

  • Review the plan’s documents to learn what is covered. 
  • Talk to your doctor about the services and medications that you might need in the next year, then compare costs between Original Medicare and the specific Medicare Advantage plans you're considering. 
  • Compare premium costs, deductibles, and copays between plans. 

Not All Plans Are the Same and Some Are Better Than Others

While all Medicare Advantage plans offer Part A and Part B benefits, the additional benefits vary significantly from plan to plan. 

It’s also important to be aware that your favorite doctor might be covered under one plan but may be out-of-network on another plan. So, make sure that you understand the rules for the type of plan that you choose.

Review the plan documents, compare plans side by side, and view plan ratings and reviews in order to make the best decision for you. 

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Interested in learning more about Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans? WebMD Connect to Care Advisors may be able to help.