When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA), you are leaving original Medicare and privatizing your health coverage. Health care and costs for MA plans are managed via an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) framework. MA Plans are required to provide for every service provided by Original Medicare.
Prescription Drug coverage is frequently included within the MA plan. Such plans are referred to as "MAPD" plans. When enrolled in an MAPD, you have to use the prescription coverage within the plan (you can't purchase a separate prescription drug plan).
When reviewing and comparing MA plans, you want to understand the coverage area, and look to see if the doctors and health care providers you desire participate in the plan.
What makes many MA plans attractive is the inclusion of additional items such as dental, vision, hearing, and/or health and wellness programs. (these items would have to be paid out-of-pocket, or by separate coverage along side Original Medicare).
Emergency care and urgently required care are covered in all MA plans.
Whether you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan or not, hospice care is covered by Original Medicare.
Services not covered by Medicare may or may not be covered under MA plans. When in doubt as to your coverage for a certain service, always consult your health care provider or health plan provider prior to receiving the service.