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.
Join our email series to receive your free Medicare guide and the latest information about Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
By clicking "Sign me up!” you are agreeing to receive emails from MedicareAdvantage.com.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
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 $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.
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, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
Find Medicare Advantage plans in your areaCompare Plans
Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. 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.
Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports: