Medicare Advantage Plans (MA)
MA plans replace original Medicare by providing all of Part A and Part B coverage. MA plans must cover all of the services that original Medicare covers except for hospice care.
MA plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by the federal government and are sometimes referred to as “Part C.” It’s important to note that MA plans:
- May require the use of network providers.
- May offer different co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles than original Medicare.
- May offer extra benefits, including vision, hearing, or dental coverage.
- May include prescription drug coverage, also known as a Part D plan. (Read on for more information about Medicare prescription drug coverage.)
- These plans are not Medicare Supplement policies even though the plans cover similar benefits. For this reason, individuals do not need a MA plan and Medicare Supplement plan at the same time.
MA plans are regulated under the authority of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency. The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) does not have authority over MA plans; therefore, DIFS does not review or approve the contract language or the rates for MA plans. However, DIFS does license most of the health insurers that issue MA plans in Michigan.