The Basics

Read the most frequently asked questions on Medicare Advantage below.

What is the difference between Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare?

With Medicare Advantage your health coverage is provided through a Medicare Approved Organization rather than the federal government.

Unlike Traditional Medicare, for which you pay a separate monthly premium for Part A (Hospital), Part B (Doctors, Outpatient), and Part D (Prescription Drugs), Medicare Advantage covers all Parts A, B, and if selected, Part D all in one monthly premium, often at a lower cost to you.

Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover additional benefits, such as dental, hearing, vision and transportation at no additional cost.

Think you’ve mastered the basics?

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Can I switch from Traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan at any time?

No, but you can switch from Traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan during the open enrollment period, which takes place from October 15 to December 7 each year

Learn more about open enrollment in our handbook.

Where can I go to explore my Medicare options?

To research plans and determine which plan may be right for you, click here.

What does initial enrollment period mean?

Your Initial Enrollment Period is when you first become eligible for Medicare or when you turn 65. In general, you can enroll in any Medicare plan during your Initial Enrollment period, which is the 7 months surrounding your 65th birthday.

Who will my doctor be?

Medicare Advantage plans provide a list of doctors and hospitals for your review. Be sure you choose a plan that includes the doctors you need.

Under what special circumstances can I sign up for Medicare Advantage?

You can sign up for Medicare Advantage outside of the Enrollment Period if:

  • You’re no longer eligible for Medicaid.
  • You find out that you won’t be eligible for Extra Help for the following year.
  • You leave coverage from your employer or union.
  • You drop your coverage in a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan.

Think you’ve mastered the basics?

Test your knowledge in our Medicare Advantage quiz here.

Take the Quiz