Medicare Advantage: Private Health Insurance Through Medicare

Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover the same services that Original Medicare covers. Some may also cover prescription drugs and dental or vision care.

Medicare Advantage plans may give you some discounts or pay for services that Original Medicare may not cover, like vision and dental care. However, Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private health insurers and you'll be required to follow your plan's rules. Original Medicare allows you to see just about any doctor and go to any hospital that accepts Medicare , which most providers accept. With Medicare Advantage plans, you're typically restricted to the doctors and hospitals included in the plan's network. You might need referrals to see a specialist.

So you have to look hard at what sort of medical coverage you need -- and what you can afford -- when deciding between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan.

No.203 - Prevent Elasticity Damage

To get a Medicare Advantage plan, you must already have Medicare Part A and Part B.

You will have many Medicare Advantage plans to choose from and the plans available vary from region to region. To learn what's available in your area, use the online Medicare Plan Finder.

While most people won't need to pay a Part A premium, you will need to pay the "standard" Part B monthly premium, which is $148 in 2021. People with higher incomes (household income over $176,000) will pay higher premiums on a sliding scale, with adjustments ranging from about $59 to $356 more per month. The maximum premium will be $504.90 for individuals earning more than $500,000 per year or couples earning more than $750,000.

On top of that, you may have to pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Advantage plan, though many plans come with no additional monthly cost at all. The price varies depending on your plan.

Here are other facts to consider before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan:

Read more on: health insurance