Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage provides all the benefits of Original Medicare, as well as some additional coverage and care coordination to reduce your overall out-of-pocket costs. It is a fantastic option for many beneficiaries.

How Medicare Advantage Works

Medicare Advantage is like an all-in-one “alternative” to Original Medicare. It combines all of those benefits and adds what many refer to as healthcare coordination. Essentially, this means that healthcare providers are gathered into a local network. Within this network, your out-of-pocket costs for care are reduced.

This network will vary in size and structure depending on the type of Advantage plan, who you purchase it from, and where you live. Because these plans are offered privately rather than from the government like Original Medicare, your exact costs and plan will vary in these different ways.

The 5 Different Advantage Plans

These healthcare networks are structured based on the structure of the plan you purchase. There are 5 different Advantage plans, each with its own benefits:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS)
  • Special Needs Plans (SNP)
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA)


All Advantage plans can offer a few additional benefits apart from this healthcare coordination to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. This can include vision, hearing, and dental coverage, as well as some other options depending on the plan and provider.

Buying the Right Advantage Plan

If you decide that you want an Advantage plan, you will have to find the right one for your needs. It’s very important to keep in mind that all insurance companies have different options at different costs—not all of them will offer the coverage you’re looking for at a price within your budget.

The first step is to carefully consider the type of healthcare you want access to; this regards in-network and out-of-network care. HMOs have provider networks that they require their members to use for healthcare. They also require their members to select a primary care doctor from this network. However, plans like PPOs allow their members to receive care outside their network, but it does cost more to do so.

Advantage and Part D

Most Advantage plans also include Part D coverage. You must consider if you want/need this coverage when searching for a plan—if it is included, keep in mind that you will likely be making up for the extra coverage in your premium.

If it is not included, you may still want to purchase a standalone Part D plan.

Great Coverage for Great People—Call Schwenker Senior Insurance

At Schwenker Senior Insurance, we love our customers, and we think you deserve the absolute best. To answer all of your Medicare questions, or to find the right Advantage plan for you, give us a call at 563-579-6116, or email us at

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