Taking a vacation is a great way to relax and enjoy quality time with others. Planning the trip can be so easy, too, with all-inclusive options that take care of your travel, hotel and meals for one price.

You can choose a Medicare plan the same way. There are different types of plans available, including all-in-one options that have health and drug coverage plus extra perks.

More coverage than Original Medicare

Original Medicare includes Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor visits, outpatient care and supplies). But many people want more coverage, so they consider a private Medicare health plan, like Medicare Advantage.

People who want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan can choose from different options, depending on the county where they live.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is a type of private insurance plan approved by Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Part C) are all-in-one plans that include Original Medicare, extra coverage and Part D prescription drug benefits.

Here are some reasons you might like an all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan:

  • You’re looking for a plan with a $0 or low monthly premium
  • You want protection with a plan that limits how much you pay each year out of pocket
  • You want one plan with doctor, hospital and often drug coverage
  • You like the convenience of one ID card for all your Medicare coverage and one member services team
  • You’re OK with getting care from a select group of doctors, clinics and hospitals
  • You want more benefits than Original Medicare — extras like coverage for routine hearing and vision exams and in many cases hearing aids, dental, gym memberships and acupuncture
  • You want some coverage when you travel

Compare Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans

Take a look at the common questions and answers below to compare Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare coverage and see what’s the best fit for you. You can also take this quick quiz to find out, Is a Medicare Advantage plan right for me?

Original Medicare Medicare Advantage Plan
Are you eligible? You’re eligible when you turn 65, are permanently disabled at any age, or have End-Stage Renal Disease. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, or Part B only. You also must live in a county where the plan is offered.
When can you enroll? You have seven months to enroll when you first get Medicare. Enroll anytime during the three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, or the three months after you turn 65.

You can sign up during the General Election Period between Jan. 1 – March 31 if you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible and are not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

You may have other chances to sign up using a Special Enrollment Period.

You have seven months to enroll when you first get Medicare. Enroll anytime during the three months before you turn age 65, the month you turn 65, or the three months after you turn 65.

If you already have Medicare, you can enroll during the Annual Election Period Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

You can switch your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period between Jan. 1 and March 31 each year.

You may have other chances to sign up using a Special Enrollment Period.

How do monthly premiums work? Part B has a monthly premium based on income. Most people don’t pay a Part A premium. You pay your Medicare Part B monthly premium (and Part A premium if applicable).

You pay a monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan. These monthly premiums can be as low as $0.

What’s covered? Medicare Part A pays some costs for care from a hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, or hospice. It has deductibles and copays.

Medicare Part B pays some costs for doctor visits, lab tests, X-rays, outpatient care and medical supplies. It has an annual deductible and 20% coinsurance for covered care.

Plans cover Medicare Parts A and B benefits with some cost sharing.

They also cover some costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copays, coinsurance or deductibles.

The plans usually have a limit on how much you pay each year.

Is there prescription drug coverage? Original Medicare doesn’t cover Part D outpatient prescription medicines. If you want this coverage you would need to enroll in a separate Part D plan. Part D coverage for outpatient prescription medicine is often included in Medicare Advantage plans.

More about Medicare Advantage plans

In addition, many Medicare Advantage plans offer these features:

  • Many Advantage plans include coverage for a gym membership, routine ear and eye exams, hearing aids, acupuncture, and worldwide emergency care. Some plans also include dental coverage, or you may be able to add dental coverage.
  • Some plans have a U.S. travel benefit. You’ll get in-network benefits when you travel out of the plan’s service area for a limited period.
  • Most plans have an out-of-pocket maximum so you get financial protection. This means you get peace of mind knowing there’s a limit on how much you pay each year for covered services.
  • Medicare Advantage plans usually have a network made up of a select group of doctors, clinics and hospitals. It’s always a good idea to check if your doctor is in the plan’s network. That’s because you usually pay less for covered services from a doctor or hospital in the network. Some Medicare Advantage plans also have benefits for out-of-network services, but you’ll pay more for those covered services.
  • One thing that’s also important to note is that a Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t include Medicaid coverage. If you’re dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid – and you live in Minnesota – consider a Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO) plan.

    Related reading: What does a Medicare and Medicaid plan cover?

    Ready for better Medicare coverage?

    Take a deeper dive into these all-in-one HealthPartners Minnesota Medicare Advantage plans to find the right solution for you.