MEDICARE PART C = MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS = MA Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans are sold by private insurance companies (called Plan Sponsors) that contract with Medicare to manage your healthcare. Medicare allows MA Plan Sponsors to provide some nice side benefits such as preventative dental services, basic vision care, OTC allowances, gym memberships, etc. Not all plans have the same side benefits, so you need to compare them and then choose the one that is most attractive to you. Also, many Advantage Plans have very low premiums.
Many MA Plans also include a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan embedded right within the MA Plan. In that case they are called MAPDs. You can read about Prescription Drug Plans elsewhere on this site.
The “trade-off” to all these nice features is that Advantage Plans are given the discretion to set their own deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket costs, and to establish different requirements for where and when you can access medical services. You should carefully compare plans if you are inclined to go the Medicare Advantage route.
Note also that Medicare allows MA Plan Sponsors to make changes to their Plans every year. For this reason, between October 15 and December 7 each year, MA Plan members are allowed to switch plans for the next year if that is in their best interest. I’d be glad to help you make such a determination!
We all know it is no easy task to choose a Medicare plan, but I would consider it a privilege to assist you in sorting through your options and to help you zero in on the two or three plans that best align with your needs, preferences and budget. I represent ALL the MA Plans available in our area and many fine Medicare Supplement plans as well.