Medicare Advantage health plans offer all of the benefits covered under Original Medicare and more. Many plans have NO additional premium beyond your Medicare Part "B" premium which you must pay. For plans with a monthly premium, rates are not based on age, gender or health condition. Also, most plans include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Depending on where you live, you may have several Medicare Advantage plans to choose from. To enroll in a plan, you must be eligible for Medicare Part A and continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, unless otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third party
Medicare Advantage Plan Types:
HMO - (Health Maintenance Organization)
To receive care through an HMO, you must use a doctor network. Other Medicare plans are HMO plans that offer a Point-of-Service (POS) option, where members have the flexibility to go out of the network to receive some health care services. Generally, copayments and coinsurance will be higher for care received outside of the plan's network.
PPO- (Preferred Provider Organization)
A PPO usually has a higher monthly premium than an HMO, but you are paying to have the freedom to use doctors in network as well as out-of-network. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to choosing a doctor. If you choose to use a doctor out-of-network, you will pay a higher out of pocket expense.
PFFS - (Private Fee For Service)
Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans give you the freedom to receive care from any Medicare approved provider who agrees to accept the plan's terms and conditions of payment, and you do not need a referral to see a specialist. This plan combines the benefits and flexibility of private insurance with the predictability of controlled cost sharing. A PFFS usually pay higher out-of-pocket costs, but there is no doctor network that you have to follow.