Medicare Advantage Plans are health plan options that are part of the Medicare program. If you join one of these plans, you generally get all your Medicare-covered health care through that plan. This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include:
Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs)
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
Private Fee-for-Service Plans
Medicare Special Needs Plans
When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you use the health insurance card that you get from the plan for your health care. In most of these plans, generally there are extra benefits and lower co-payments than in the Original Medicare Plan. However, you may have to see doctors that belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get services. Your choice of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers with Medicare Advantage PPO plans are a lot greater than with Medicare Advantage HMO plans, there is no need to select a primary care physician, you can choose a doctor whenever you need care, you do not need a referral to see a specialist or to get another opinion about a medical condition.
To join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium to Medicare. In addition, you might have to pay a monthly premium to your Medicare Advantage Plan for the extra benefits that they offer.