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Medicare Advantage Plans are not secondary insurance plans. (Medicare Supplement Plans are secondary.)

Medicare Advantage is like group health insurance policies and other non-Medicare health coverage. You will just present your ID card to your doctor when you have a visit, then pay your copay.

(This can make life simpler. You won’t have to wait for Medicare and your Medicare Supplement Plan to pay before you know what you owe for services.)

Medicare Advantage Plans do not coordinate with Medicare. They are Medicare.

Even though you enroll in these plans through a private insurer, Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare Part C.

Advantage plans provide all Medicare Part A and Part B benefits listed below. They usually provide Medicare Part D benefits.

Medicare Part A covers hospital stays. It also covers a limited amount of nursing home care. It covers hospice as well.

Medicare Part B covers doctor visits. It also covers visits to physical therapists and other providers.

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. (Part D Plans are known as Prescription Drug Plans. Like Medicare Part C, you get Part D coverage from private insurers.)

Your Medicare Advantage Plan will have different cost shares (copays, deductibles and coinsurance) when compared to “Original Medicare” (Medicare Part A and Part B). Your cost shares will be different. But these plans are mandated cover you just as well or better than Original Medicare.


Most if not all plans cover services that Original Medicare does not. This includes annual physical exams. It can also include some dental, vision and hearing benefits.

Since it covers all these benefits, typically with a low copay, you will not use Medicare Part A or B while covered by a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Do You Still Have to Pay for Medicare Part B?

Yes, unless your income qualifies you for MSP status and the State of Connecticut pays if for you. Even though your Medicare card stays in your wallet when you seek care, you still pay the monthly premiums. ($134 for most people in 2018.)

Why? The Federal Government subsidizes Medicare Advantage Plans. Part of the money your insurance company receives from the Fed comes from your monthly Medicare Part B Premium.

(Which is why there are several outstanding $0 monthly premium plans available in Connecticut.)

About Post Author

Alston J. Balkcom

“ Connecticut-licensed insurance agent since 1985.”