Medicare Advantage Plans

What is a Medicare Advantage plan? 

Medicare Advantage Plans are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide all your Part A and Part B benefits. Most Medicare Advantage plans also offer prescription drug coverage (Part D) as well as dental, vision, hearing and wellness care. The term “Medicare Advantage” is synonymous with “Medicare Part C.

Many Medicare beneficiaries find Medicare Advantage plans to be convenient because they can bundle the coverage of Part A, Part B, and Part D together.

To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. This means you will most likely be paying a premium for Part B on top of your Medicare Advantage plan’s premiums.

If a Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage, you cannot be enrolled in a Part D plan at the same time.


What are the different types of Medicare Advantage plans?

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – these plans utilize in-network doctors and require referrals to see a specialist. All services are required to be performed by in-network providers except in an emergency.

Preffered Provider Organization (PPO) – these plans charge different rates based on seeing your doctor in-network or out-of-network. Staying in-network has better rates than going out-of-network.

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) – these plans are special payment plans that offer flexibility when seeing your providers.

Special Needs Plans (SNP) – these plans help with long-term medical bills for chronic conditions. SNP’s are either HMO or PPO plans as they utilize a contracted network of providers.

Medical Savings Account (MSA) – these are medical savings accounts that are paired with a high deductible health plan. 



Enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans

You sign up for Medicare Advantage plans through a private insurer, who will offer select plans for your area. To be eligible, you must be signed up for both parts of Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

There are three main periods in which you can enroll in or change your Medicare Advantage plan: Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP), Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP).

Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP)

This is the first time you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. It is important to note that in order to initiate ICEP, you must have Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). For most people, this period includes the month of their 65th birthday as well as 3 months before and 3 months after, adding up to 7 months total.

During this period, you can sign up for Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D all at the same time.

If you later decide that you want to switch Advantage plans or wish instead to just be enrolled in Original Medicare, you have 3 months from the start of your benefits to make these changes.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Oct 15 – Dec 7

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) happens every year between October 15 and December 7.

During this period, you can make a number of changes, including:

  • Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan if you already have Part A and Part B
  • Dropping your Advantage plan and reverting to Original Medicare
  • Changing from one Advantage plan to another
  • Changing from an Advantage plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to one that does
  • Changing from an Advantage plan that does offer drug coverage to one that doesn’t; you can sign up for Part D at this time if you make this change

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Jan 1 – Mar 31

During this time, you can:

  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage plan to return to Original Medicare coverage

Finding Medicare Advantage Plans in Georgia

There are many options for Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia. The best Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia provide a wide range of coverage with a minimal amount of copays and a reasonable monthly premium. However, different plans can better meet different healthcare needs, so it is vital to select the plan that’s suited to you.

We can assist with selecting a Medicare Advantage plan in Georgia tailored to your health needs, your typical costs, and your own personal preferences.

Call us today at (678) 807-8414 or contact us online to speak with an experienced insurance group representative who can answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you with Protecting What’s Ahead.

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