Not all Medicare Advantage Plans work the same way, so before you join, take the time to find and compare Medicare health plans in your area. Once you understand the plan’s rules and costs, here’s how to join:
- Use Medicare’s Plan Finder.
- Visit the plan’s website to see if you can join online.
- Fill out a paper enrollment form. Contact the plan to get an enrollment form, fill it out, and return it to the plan. All plans must offer this option.
- Call the plan you want to join.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have to give your Medicare number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage started. This information is on your Medicare card.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan anytime from 3 months before your 65th birthday to 3 months after your 65th birthday. You can make changes to your plan during the annual open enrollment period.
Your out-of-pocket costs in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) depend on:
- Whether the plan charges a monthly premium.
- Whether the plan pays any of your monthly Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) premium.
- Whether the plan has a yearly deductible or any additional deductibles.
- How much you pay for each visit or service (co-payment or co-insurance). For example, the plan may charge a co-payment, like $10 or $20 every time you see a doctor. These amounts can be different than those under Original Medicare.
- The type of health care services you need and how often you get them.
- Whether you go to a doctor or supplier who accepts assignment (if you’re in a PPO, PFFS, or MSA plan and you go out-of-network).
- Whether you follow the plan’s rules, like using network providers.
- Whether you need extra benefits and if the plan charges for it.
- The plan’s yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for all medical services.
- Whether you have Medicaid or get help from your state.
Complete Medicare information at the official U.S. government Medicare site