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Browse the Medicare Part D "Medicare Advantage Plans" FAQs
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Question: Is there really any difference between a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Answer: Yes!  A Medicare Part D plans cover only out-patient prescription drugs.  A Medicare Advantage Plan offers, at a minimum, the medically-necessary coverage of Original Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B .. and sometimes Medicare Part D prescription drugs ... plus even more.

A Medicare Advantage Plan is much more complicated than a Medicare Part D Plan where people not only need to ensure that medications and pharmacies are included in a Plan, but also favorite physicians and hospitals may also be included or excluded from the Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans actually come in two varieties: Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) and Medicare Advantage plans without prescription drug coverage (MA).

As noted, a Medicare Advantage Plans combines your Medicare A (hospitalization) and Medicare B (medical, like Doctor visits) - plus usually some additional benefits like vision or dental. If you have a MA-PD, then your Medicare Advantage plan also covers prescription drug coverage or Medicare Part D.

To enroll into a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you must have either Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B.  Medicare Part D premiums are in addition to your Medicare Part A (if any) and/or Part B premiums.

To enroll into a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B . The Medicare Advantage Plans are operated by private insurance carrier and compensated by the Federal Government. Medicare Advantage premiums are also in addition to your Medicare A and Medicare Part B premiums. Some Medicare Advantage plans do not charge much of a premium (or a $0 monthly premium) - some Medicare Advantage Plans not only have a $0 premium, but you actually get a portion of your Medicare Part B premium rebated or payed-back.   As mentioned, Medicare Advantage Plans often provide the additional prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) at a reduced or no cost.

Medicare Advantage plans can be further defined by how the private insurance carriers choose to implement the Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Some MAs are PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) - other MAs are organized as HMOs (Health Management Organizations) - and still other MAs are set up as PFFS (Private Fee for Service Organizations).


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