Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is an alternative to Original Medicare. These plans are required to provide you with the same coverage as Original Medicare, and may also include additional benefits, such as:
The private health insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare-approved to handle your coverage. When you purchase a Part C plan, you still need to pay your monthly premiums to Medicare for Part A and Part B, but often Medicare Advantage plans have low or $0 monthly premiums.
The costs of Medicare Advantage plans will vary, but you can expect to pay copayments and deductibles on top of your premiums. One major benefit of Medicare Advantage plans is that all of these plans have an out-of-pocket maximum. Unlike Original Medicare, you are guaranteed not to spend more than a set amount toward your health care.
Most Medicare Advantage plans use networks of health care professionals, and some plans may ask you to see providers only within that network or charge you more for seeing providers outside of that network. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you can expect different costs for premiums and copayments, and you may or may not have to have a primary care doctor or get a referral to see a specialist.
The types of Medicare Advantage plans available include:
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