Posted on



Lisa Baxter, Aging Service Specialist

Medicare Advantage Plans vs Original Medicare

I get many questions about Medicare Advantage Plans(MA). When I ask people why they are asking about them, most are saying it is because they had recently seen an advertisement on TV, received a post card in the mail or say something like my friend who lives in Billings has one and loves it. What generally is catching their attention is Advantage Plans saying they have zero premium, pay back part of their part B premium or say they cover dental, vision and hearing. If it sounds too good to be true, often it is!

A Medicare Advantage Plan is another way to get your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage (Part D). There are several types of Medicare Advantage Plans. Each Advantage Plan has special rules about how you get your Medicare covered Part A and B services and your plan’s supple-

mental benefits.

If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will still have Medicare, but you will get most of your Part A and Part B coverage from your Medicare Advantage Plan. You must use the card from your Medicare Advantage Plan to get your Medicare covered services. Keep your red, white and blue Medicare card in a safe place because you will need it if you ever switch back to Original Medicare.