What’s behind the growth of Medicare Advantage plans


More than three out of 10 people covered by Medicare are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, according to a recent report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Nationally, the article continues, enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has tripled since 2005, and it’s continuing to increase.

The appeal: Medicare Advantage plans are more comprehensive in their coverage than Medicare and their premiums tend to be lower than stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans combined with Medigap or other supplemental insurance.

The drawback: Some Advantage plans have limited networks and they can carry higlife_insuranceher out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes referred to as Part C, are offered by private insurers that contract with Medicare to provide all of the Part A and Part B benefits. Most also offer prescription drug coverage. Most Medicare services are covered through the Advantage plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. In turn, you can’t be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage Plan and Medigap or another supplemental insurance.

Medicare Advantage plans are generally open to those who meet the following criteria:


  • You live in the service area of the plan you want to join. (If you live in another state for part of the year, check to see if the plan will cover you there.)
  • You have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • You don’t have End-Stage Renal Disease.


Medicare pays a fixed amount each month to the insurers that provide Medicare Advantage coverage. The insurers, in turn, must adhere to the rules dictated by Medicare. Each plan, though, can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different guidelines for how you get services, like requiring a referral to see a specialist.

To discuss whether a Medicare Advantage plan is the right fit for you, contact us today. California Insurance Finder specializes in finding affordable medical health plans in California that meet the needs of our clients.