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A Medicare Advantage Plan is an all-in-one bundling of Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and (usually) Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) that is offered by private insurers. Although it is referred to as Medicare Part C, it is a way for you to receive your Medicare, not an alternative source of insurance. However, many of these plans do also offer additional coverage.

Download a FREE COPY of Medicare Advantage Insurance Guide

Pros

1.

They are a one-stop shop: Most Medicare Advantage plans combine your medical, hospital, and prescription drug coverage, and may offer additional benefits as well. 

2.

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage for hearing aids, prescription drugs, routine vision care, routine dental care, and even fitness center memberships.

3.

Medicare Advantage plans may save you money. Some offer premiums as low as $0, some offer low copays, and most cap your out-of-pocket expenses so that you pay nothing for covered services after you spend the maximum that year. 

4.

Medicare Advantage plans coordinate care among all of your health care providers. This is because they are typically managed care plans, such as HMOs. Those that include prescription drug coverage may also manage your medications for you—a real benefit to those taking multiple prescriptions.

Cons

1.

Medicare Advantage plans restrict you to the doctors within their network, and if you go out of network will not cover your expenses. By contrast, with standard Medicare, you can go to any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare.

2.

Most Medicare Advantage plans have regional networks, and require that you reside in their service area for at least 6 months a year. This may be difficult if you divide your time between different regions throughout the year.

3.

Some services, procedures, or specialist visits may require referrals or authorizations before the plan will pay for it.

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We wanted to retire somewhere warm, but not in a rainy waterfront area. My wife and I have always preferred an open desert landscape, but one that is surrounded by hiking areas and plenty to do. When we were referred to a beautiful rural area in Arizona with a wonderful healthcare system, it was perfect.

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