A Medicare Advantage MAPD includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and a Medicare Advantage MA plan does not include drug coverage.
In general, a Medicare Advantage plan is a health plan option approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and operated by a private insurance company. Sometimes, you will hear a Medicare Advantage plan called a Medicare Part C plan or a Medicare Health plan.
Medicare Advantage plans provide a combination of your Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (out-patient or medical coverage) and may also include other "supplemental" service such as home healthcare, vision coverage, dental coverage, transportation, and recreational coverage (such as a "Silver Sneakers" membership).
Again, if the Medicare Advantage plan also includes Medicare Part D
prescription drug coverage, then the Medicare Advantage plan is known as an "MAPD
". If the Medicare Advantage plan does not include Medicare Part D
prescription drug coverage, then the Medicare Advantage plan is known as an "MA
You may not be able to add drug coverage to an MA.
If you join an MA
plan (without prescription drug coverage), you may not be allowed to also add a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP
). If you want prescription drug coverage and want to join a Medicare Advantage plan, then you probably should choose an MAPD
. Only MSAs and PFFS Medicare Advantage plans can add stand-alone Medicare Part D drug coverage (see more below).
You can also read more in our Frequently Asked Question: "Can I enroll in an HMO and then add prescription drug coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan?
A note on Medicare Advantage plans and Healthcare Networks
Most MAs and MAPD
have healthcare networks and you may need to visit doctors (or other healthcare providers) who are part of the Medicare Advantage plan network - or be prepared to pay a higher coverage cost.