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AARP's Medicare Question and Answer Tool

How are Medicare Advantage plans different from Original Medicare?

 

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. They are known as Medicare Part C plans. These plans are offered by private insurance companies and cover all Medicare-covered services.

Medicare Advantage plans cover Medicare Part A (hospital services) and Part B (physician services). Most Medicare Advantage plans also include Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage). They also may pay for additional services that aren’t covered by Original Medicare.

In most Medicare Advantage plans, you can only go to doctors, specialists and hospitals on the plan’s list. Otherwise, you may pay more or you may not be covered for services at all. However, if you need urgent or emergency care, you will be covered even if you receive care outside the plan’s participating providers. Examples of Medicare Advantage plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO).

To learn more about the basics of Medicare visit www.medicare.gov. Or you can call Medicare directly at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

 

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