When it comes to the advantage plans A, many get confused and some even believe that it is the same as Medicare part A. These two A-parts and plans are different on many levels and it is important for your health insurance as well as your pocket, to not confuse the two.
What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare part A covers inpatient care, such as services you would get while straying at a hospital, nursing facility home and care that you would get within your own home. If you or your spouse have been paying taxes for Medicare for over 10 years, the Medicare part A coverage will be free of charge. There are also several other criteria that would make you eligible for a free-of-charge Medicare Part A, such as being eligible for social security benefits at the age of 65, or if younger having social security benefits due to a disability for over 24 months. If none of the cases apply, Medicare Part A can also be “bought”, by paying monthly premium. What the rate will be will depend on your own situation. Those who have been paying taxes for Medicare for less than 30 quarters, have a standard premium of 422$. Those who have been paying taxes above the 30 quarters time period, get a less expensive premium rate of 232$. To have Medicare part A, in most cases, you would also need to get Medicare part B medical insurance.
What is Medicare (Advantage) Plan A?
A Medicare advantage plan, is health insurance you cannot get directly from Social Security. IT is a plan that is offered by private health insurance companies, as an addition to a Medical part A or/and Part B. As Medicare original parts A and B don´t really cover all of the expenses, advantage plans are offered by private health insurance companies to help fill in those gaps. What an original Medicare doesn´t pay, can be covered for by a advantage plan. Advantage plans cannot be bought separately, to be able to enroll into one of these you must have Medicare part A and/or B first.
Medicare advantage plan A will fill in the following gaps:
- It will cover for coinsurance payments for in-hospital care, as Medicare part A doesn´t cover these costs to 100%
- It will cover for any copayments or coinsurance expenses of Medicare part B
- It will cover for the first thee pints of blood, which aren´t covered by Medicare Part A or B. The original Medicare part A or B cover only after the patient has paid for the first three pints of blood themselves
- It will cover for coinsurance and copayment expenses of Medicare part A
As you can see, the Medicare advantage plan A is an addition to the Medicare original part A, and it covers for what the other one doesn´t. For many patients, it is easier and cheaper to pay for the advantage plan premium rate, rather than have to pay for these expenses out of their own pocket each time a health care service is required.