What is an Advantage Plan?

In One Sentence

Under Part C, or “Medicare Advantage,” CMS outsources Medicare coverage to a private insurer that Medicare members can choose.   

The Basics

In the late 1990s, Medicare Part A and B benefits became available through private insurance companies under Part C. Eventually the government named this program “Medicare Advantage.” Medicare Advantage plans must provide coverage that is at least as good as Original Medicare. Private insurers offer Advantage Plans according to their own network contracts and cost sharing. Many plans include Part D coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t provide, like dental care, and some are available only to special subgroups of Medicare beneficiaries, like those with Medicare and Medicaid. Advantage Plans don’t require enrollees to pass medical underwriting. 

Check out Pelorus advisor Josh Sprague’s introduction to the different parts of Medicare, which includes Part C by clicking the image below or read our "Deep Dive" on Medicare Advantage Plans.