Surprise! Medicare Advantage Plans are not free.
When it comes time for folks start looking for plans, they get shocked when they see some Medicare Advantage Plans that have $0 premiums. A lot of questions get asked behind those zero premium costs, and the "It's too good to be true" mentality sets in. The reality is that it is real, it's not a trick. It's a great thing for members to see, but it's also important for them to understand why carriers are able to offer plans with no premium.
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare "Part C" or "MA Plans", are offered by private insurance companies that take over the care of Medicare beneficiaries. Each private insurance company that offers Medicare Advantage Plans must follow the rules set by Medicare to insure complainant care for its beneficiaries. By joining a Medicare Advantage Plan you still retain your Medicare Part's A and B, but the difference is that you go to approved physicians and facilities for care, unlike Original Medicare. The benefit of this is that copays are much lower than Original Medicare.
Through the agreement that the private insurance carriers and Medicare agree upon, Medicare will pay a fixed amount for members coverage each month based on the average cost of medical expense typically filed in the service area. These companies must follow Medicare’s coverage rules to be eligible for participation, and Medicare Advantage Plans have yearly contracts with Medicare that must be filed before the Annual Election Period (AEP) for that specific year. The plan must notify you about any changes before the start of the next enrollment year.
Medicare pays private Insurance carriers an agreed amount to provide care for Medicare Beneficiaries
Medicare would never contract with private insurance companies if it was not in the best interest of the Medicare beneficiary. Medicare Advantage plans have many benefits that Original Medicare does not, and in many cases provide a more affordable way to receive care.
Check with your local Advisor to see what Medicare Advantage Plans are available in the area.