Medicare Advantage Plans

What is Medicare Advantage Plan and who can join?


A Medicare Advantage Plan (sometimes called a “Part C” or “MA” Plan) is a Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. A Medicare Advantage Plan covers all Medicare services. Each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services. You generally get your services from a Plan’s network of providers. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include Part D prescription drug coverage.  You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan if you live in the service area of the plan you want to join, and you have Medicare Part A and Part B. The Medicare Advantage Plan can give you more information about its services area. Below are contacts for agencies that can assist you in finding a Medicare Advantage Plan that meets your needs.


SHIP Contact Information



Phone: 1-800-AGE-LINE (1-800-0243-5463)


Phone: 1-888-696-7213

North Dakota

Phone: (888) 575-6611


Phone: 1-800-541-7735


Phone: 804-662-9333

West Virginia

Phone: 1-877-987-4463


Phone: 1-800-856-4398


When can you join a Medicare Advantage Plan and how much does it cost?

Between October 15th and December 7th, anyone with Medicare can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan. In that case, your coverage would begin on January 1st, as long as the Medicare Advantage Plan gets your request by December 7th. However, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, because individuals have the chance to join a prescription drug Medicare Advantage Plan for 2 full months after the month in which the individual involuntarily lost his creditable coverage. For example, if you lose your Westmoreland Employer Plan coverage on December 31, 2019, you will have until February 28, 2020 to enroll in a prescription drug Medicare Advantage Plan (however to avoid a break in coverage you should sign up by December 7, 2019). Costs vary based on each Medicare Advantage Plan. In addition to your Medicare Part B premium, you usually pay a monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage Plan.


How do I get more information about MA Plans?

To help you select a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can get information about the plans that are sold in your area form the website at You can also call

Medicare for more information at 1-800-MEDICARE.