These are health plans usually in the form of a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Special Needs Plan (SNP), or a Private Fee for Service plan (PFFS). These plans are offered through private companies approved by Medicare. You must have Medicare Parts A and B, and live in the plan’s service area to be eligible. Each Medicare Advantage Plan charges different premiums and has different costs for services. Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care each month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. You usually get prescription drug coverage (Part D) through the plan. In some types of plans that don’t offer drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan through both an MAPD or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

These plans are also known as Part “C” or “MA” plans. If you decide to join one of these plans you still keep your Medicare coverage. You will get your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan and not Original Medicare.