Medicare Advantage (MA)
Medicare Advantage is a type of health plansA group of doctors, specialists, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term services and supports providers that work together to meet your needs (also called a managed care plan).
Full Definition > that includes all your MedicareThe federal program that provides health care benefits for people age 65 years and older as well as people of any age with certain disabilities or diseases.
Full Definition > benefitsPayment of health care services and products. Medicare benefits pay for doctor visits, hospital care, prescription drugs, and some behavioral health services.
Full Definition >, as well as some extra benefits. Your Medi-CalA government program that offers health care coverage for low-income Californians. (Medi-Cal is the federal-state Medicaid program in California.)
benefits stay separate.
- To qualify for an MA health plan, you must have Medicare and live in a ZIP Code where MA health plans are available.
- MA health plans provide Medicare benefits and some extra benefits. They do not provide or manage Medi-Cal benefits. You will continue to get these benefits separately from Medi-Cal.
My ChoicesChoices available in your ZIP Code.
BenefitsImportant considerations about this choice.
Success StoriesLearn from others' personal experiences.
Next StepsGet help and find out how to enroll.
- The MA health plan provides and manages your Medicare benefits (including doctors, hospitals, prescription drugs, lab tests and x-rays, and some medical equipmentReusable equipment ordered or prescribed by your doctor for use at home, like walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and more. Also known as durable medical equipment (DME).
- You might get extra benefits like:
- Extra dental, hearing, and vision coverage
- Gym membership
- You may get a care coordinator—a nurse or other helper whose job is to be your main point of contact and help you get all the health care services you need.
- You continue to get your Medi-Cal benefits separately, and you must manage these benefits yourself. (Medi-Cal benefits include some medical equipment and supplies and long-term services and supportsThe federal program that provides health care benefits for people age 65 years and older as well as people of any age with certain disabilities or diseases.
Full Definition > like In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)IHSS provides in-home care for people who need it to safely live in their own homes.
Full Definition > or adult day centersFacilities that provide social activities and meals and sometimes nursing and therapies during the day.
Full Definition >.)
- Like other options, you keep all of your Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits.
- MA health plans may have networks of providers (like doctors, hospitals, clinics, labs, and equipment suppliers). The health plan might ask you to see providersA person or organization that provides health care-related services or products, like a doctor, hospital, clinic, personal care assistant, or equipment supplier.
in their networkA group of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers that work with your health plan to provide your health care services.
- If your doctor or hospital is not already in the health plan’s network, they might have to join the network, or you may have to change providers. You may also have to change where you get your medical suppliesMedically related supplies often ordered or prescribed by a doctor. They are typically disposable and used once. They include diabetic test strips, oxygen, and incontinence supplies.
- Your MA health plan can help you find new doctors and service providers that meet all your needs.
- MA health plans do not oversee any of your Medi-Cal benefits and are not responsible for helping you get your Medi-Cal benefits.
- If you need help with your Medi-Cal covered medical supplies, equipment, or long-term services and supports, a MA health plan may not provide enough help.
- If you mostly need help with medical care, a MA health plan may be a good fit for you.
How to Enroll
You can enroll by:
- Calling your local Medicare Advantage health plans
- Find your local health plans under the “My Choices” tab on this page.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY: 1-877-486-2048)
Download Helpful Tools
Contact Help Services
Visit our Get Help page for links and phone numbers to people who can help you understand your Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits and assist you in choosing a care option.