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South Dakota beneficiaries may have several Medicare options available to them, including Medicare Advantage plans. Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage plans are another way to get your Original Medicare, Part A and Part B benefits. The difference is that instead of having your benefits administered by the federal program, you’ll get your Medicare coverage through your Medicare Advantage plan instead.
If you’re looking to expand your coverage beyond Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans may offer extra benefits outside of what’s covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. While all Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, many plans also cover additional benefits, such as routine dental or vision, hearing, or prescription drugs. Original Medicare doesn’t cover most dental, vision, or hearing services, and you’ll normally need to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for help with prescription medication costs.
Medicare Advantage plans are available through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare, so plan availability may vary by location. There are several different types of Medicare Advantage plans available, including:
One difference between Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is that Medicare Advantage plans may cover prescription medications. Also called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, these plans cover all of your Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D benefits under a single plan. Remember, you normally have to get Medicare prescription drug coverage separately if you have Original Medicare. If you prefer the convenience of having all of your benefits coordinated through a single Medicare plan, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan as an alternative to Original Medicare and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
Before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, it’s important to make sure that all of your current medications are covered by the plan. Each Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan may vary when it comes to the specific prescription drugs included in its formulary, or list of covered medications. The formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary.
You may want to shop around and compare all available Medicare Advantage plan options in your area, since the availability and cost will vary depending on your county of residence. Some service areas may offer Medicare Advantage plans with premiums as low as $0; however, even if the premium is $0, you must still pay your Medicare Part B premium, along with any cost-sharing expenses required by the Medicare Advantage plan. So it’s always important to look at all plan costs, not just the monthly premium.
As a South Dakota beneficiary, you may have questions about how Medicare works or what type of coverage may fit your situation. If you like, an eHealth licensed insurance agent can help you navigate the different Medicare plan options in your location.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.