Medicare advantage is a combination of your Part A and Part B options and must cover all medically needed services. the plans work somewhat like traditional health insurance. You typically have a list of providers in which you can use for services. Many advantage plans offer extra benefits that traditional Medicare does not offer, such as; dental, preventative and even gym memberships. Below you will find an illustration on how the plan works in relation to Medicare, a list of Pros and Cons to consider, the enrollment periods and types of Advantage plans.
What to consider when selecting an Advantage plan
Medicare Advantage Pros
Medicare Advantage Cons
Typically, covers Medicare Part A, B and D (Rx) all in one simple to use plan
There is typically a copay for each service performed until you meet the Out of Pocket Maximum
Preventative and routine services covered
Higher copays or no coverage for out of network providers
Premiums as low as $0 per month
You must live within the plan's service area
Extra benefits inclued dental, vision, alternative care and hearing may be covered
You may require a referral for specialists (HMOs).
Premiums do not increase based on age, gender or health
You can switch to any other Advantage plan during the open enrollment period
Enrollment periods for Advantage plans
Below is a list of common enrollment periods that a member will want to keep in mind. These apply to Advantange plan members. Contact us is you have a specific situation that you do not see below. You can find the Medicare enrollment publication here.
Type of enrollment period
Medicare Advantage enrollment dates
Initial Enrollment (IEP/ICEP)
Three months prior, the month of, and three months after your birthmonth.
You can enroll in any Advantage plan, Part D (Rx) or MediGap plan.
The plans are guarantee issue regardless of health.
General Enrollment (GEP)
Jan 1st - Mar 31st
For those that did not enroll in Part A, Part B or both.
Coverage begins July 1st
Annual Enrollment (AEP)
Nov 1th - Dec 31st
Can move to any other Advantage plan
Can add or drop Part D (Rx)
Can move between orginal medicare and Advantage plan
One change allowed
Coverage begins Jan 1st
Open Enrollment (OEP)
Jan 1st - Mar 31st
Can move between Advantage plans or Orginal Medicare