There tends to be confusion among Medicare beneficiaries on what Medicare Advantage is and how it works. Medicare Advantage was created as an alternative to Original Medicare:
Original Medicare was first offered to Medicare beneficiaries in 1965. Original Medicare is made up of Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Original Medicare.
Effective in 1999, CMS was authorized to contract with private insurance organizations to offer Medicare benefits (Part A & B) through a Medicare Advantage plan.
A Medicare Advantage plan is a private health insurance plan that has been approved by Medicare.
Medicare beneficiaries have a choice- should the beneficiary take Original Medicare or take a Medicare Advantage? To determine which is the best path, there are several factors to consider: