Medicare Advantage plans aren’t available everywhere, but in some areas, Advantage plans complete Medicare’s coverage at the lowest rates, period. In some cases, there’s no cost beyond your Medicare Part B premiums. You must have both Medicare Part A and B to add an Advantage plan.
Next to price, the second biggest reason that Medicare Advantage plans are popular may be that they add extra benefits. Unlike Medicare, Advantage plans often throw in coverage for seeing the dentist or getting eyeglasses or hearing aids.
To get these low-cost plans, you may have use specific doctors and hospitals unless you need emergency or urgent care. Your Medicare Advantage plan may also require you to get a referral before you can see a specialist.
Since these plans are tied to small geographic areas, not everyone lives where a Medicare Advantage plan is available. If you do, remember that every Advantage plan sets it’s own rules independently. You’ll have to scrutinize the rules, be sure your doctor is included on the preferred provider list and check to see if the medicines you use are covered. You can see what Medicare Advantage plans are available in your area right on our website.

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.