Medicare Advantage plans often include additional benefits beyond what original Medicare covers, but many enrollees don’t actually use these extra benefits simply because they don’t know about them. This is quite common as Medicare Advantage plans differ in their offered benefits and enrollees may not fully understand their plans. By learning about the benefits available in your specific Medicare Advantage plan, you can take full advantage and get the most out of your coverage.

What kinds of extra benefits may be available?

Vision, dental, and hearing benefits

Many Medicare Advantage plans include some coverage for vision, dental, and hearing services which goes beyond standard Medicare. Vision benefits may provide an yearly eye exam and allowance for eyeglasses or contacts. Dental coverage helps pay for cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings and possibly dentures. Hearing benefits can lower the cost of hearing exams and hearing aids.

Wellness and fitness programs

Some plans offer members gym memberships, personalized health coaching, access to fitness trackers, discounted rates for massage therapy, acupuncture or chiropractic services. Using these benefits helps enrollees stay active and support a healthy lifestyle.

Over-the-counter allowances

Many Medicare Advantage plans give enrollees a quarterly allowance, usually $25 to $100, to purchase over-the-counter health items like pain relievers, cold medicine, bandages and toothbrushes. This allowance helps cover useful health items original Medicare does not cover.


For enrollees needing help getting around, some Medicare Advantage plans provide transportation benefits. This may include a set number of rides yearly to doctor appointments and pharmacies offered at no-cost or for a small copay.

How do you find out about the extra benefits in your plan?

Check your plan materials

Evidence of Coverage booklets, Annual Notices of Change documents, member newsletters and plan websites will often highlight additional included benefits beyond original Medicare. But keep in mind that extra benefits can vary year-to-year for your Medicare Advantage plan.

Talk to a member services agent

Insurers want their enrollees utilizing covered benefits so speaking to a member services agent can uncover specifics about extra benefits that may be valuable for your health needs. Come prepared with questions and take notes on what benefits are inclusive with your plan’s coverage.

Consult with your doctor

Your providers likely know what additional Medicare Advantage benefits could provide you help. Ask which screening tests, medical equipment or support programs would aid with health conditions but have out-of-pocket costs under original Medicare. Then check if these are included in your plan’s offerings.

Don’t leave plan benefits unused. Understand and maximize what your Medicare Advantage plan covers beyond original Medicare so you can fully utilize the coverage available to support your health and wellness.