Do Medicare Advantage Plans Replace Original Medicare?
Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare Part A and Part B plus provide additional coverage depending on the plan you choose.
When looking at the differences between Medicare and Medicare Advantage, keep in mind that Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurers like Empire. They include everything that Part A and Part B cover, plus lots of other benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Think of a Medicare Advantage plan as comprehensive coverage for your healthcare needs.
Some of the benefits most Medicare Advantage plans have that Original Medicare does not have include:
Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MAPD) plans are Part C plans combined with Part D prescription drug plans. While Medicare Part D provides only prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage plans can be combined to cover that and more.
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer dental coverage for things like routine checkups and exams, cleanings, dentures, and coverage for unplanned dental procedures like root canals and crowns.
Eye health becomes more important as we age. Eye exams, glasses, and contacts are a part of many Medicare Advantage plans.
Original Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids, which can be expensive. Many Medicare Advantage plans provide hearing coverage that includes testing and medically required hearing aids.
Over-the-counter health items
Many Medicare Advantage plans have allowances for common over-the-counter health items like aspirin, band-aids, and more.
Wellness And Fitness
Medicare Advantage plans give you options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many plans include access to gym memberships, senior fitness programs like SilverSneakers®, and coaching to improve overall well-being.