Does Medicare Advantage replace Medicare?
The answer is that in a sense, yes, Medicare Advantage does replace Original Medicare. But there’s much more to understanding the relationship between Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
This guide will help you learn more about Medicare Advantage plans so that you can better decide which type of Medicare coverage is right for your needs.
When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not get rid of your Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) benefits. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance, and Part B covers medical insurance.
By law, Medicare Advantage plans (which are sold by private insurance companies) are required to provide the same benefits as Original Medicare.
When enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you will receive your Part A and Part B benefits through your Medicare Advantage plan except for hospice care, which you will continue to receive through Part A.
In this sense, Medicare Advantage does “replace” Original Medicare, because almost all of your Original Medicare benefits will be obtained through your Medicare Advantage plan.
If you are required to pay a premium for Medicare Part A (up to $437 per month in 2019), you must continue to pay your premiums while enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A.
You must also continue to pay your Part B premiums ($135.50 per month in 2019).
Some Medicare Advantage plans come with $0 premiums, though $0 premium plans may not be available in all areas.
Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, though benefits and plan availability vary based on your location.
To sum it all up: With a Medicare Advantage plan, your Original Medicare coverage remains intact but you receive your Original Medicare benefits from your Medicare Advantage plan (except hospice care).
For more questions about how Medicare Advantage works or to explore plan options in your area, contact a licensed insurance agent by calling TTY Users: 711 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.