Common Questions

Does a Medicare Advantage Plan Replace Original Medicare?

Does Medicare Advantage replace Original Medicare? In a way, yes. This guide explains more about the relationship between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare.

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.

Find a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan today.

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With Medicare Advantage, you still receive Original Medicare benefits

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.

With Medicare Advantage, you pay your Original Medicare premiums

If you are required to pay a premium for Medicare Part A (up to $471 per month in 2021), 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 ($185.50 per month in 2021).

Some Medicare Advantage plans come with $0 premiums, though $0 premium plans may not be available in all areas.

What benefits do Medicare Advantage plans offer?

Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, though benefits and plan availability vary based on your location.

Some plans may also offer benefits not found in Original Medicare, such as coverage for dental, hearing, vision, and other benefits.

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, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.

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About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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