Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C

What is Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is a health plan supplied by a private insurer. The private insurer has an arrangement with Medicare to provide individuals with all their Part A and Part B benefits.

Medicare Advantage plans come in the form of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Services Plans (PFFS), Special Needs Plans (SNP) and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA).

If you sign-up for Medicare Part C, most of your Medicare services are covered by your private insurer and not paid by Original Medicare.

What Medicare Advantage Covers

Medicare Advantage plans cover all of the services in Medicare Part A & Part B and usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage. It may also include some additional benefits and services for an additional cost.

Signing-up for Medicare Advantage

Once you have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B you become eligible to sign-up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the first opportunity you will have to sign-up for a Medicare Advantage plan. IEP is the 7-month period 3 months before you turn 65 and 4 months after you turn 65.

Another opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plans is the yearly Open Enrollment Period (October 15th – December 7th).

Cost Factors for Medicare Advantage Plans

Since Medicare Part C is offered by private insurers the fees vary by carrier based on the following:

  • If the plan charges a monthly premium or not.
  • If the plan pays any of your monthly Medicare Part B premium or not.
  • If the plan has a yearly deductible or any additional deductibles.

Prescription Drug Plans with Medicare Advantage

The majority of Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage then you will receive all of your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) coverage from one private health plan provider.

FAQs

Will I lose Medicare Part A and B, when signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan?

No you will not lose Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B when signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan. Once you sign-up for a Medicare Advantage plan you will begin receiving your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage through the Medicare Advantage plan instead of “Original Medicare”.

What type of Medicare Advantage plans exist?

Medicare Advantage plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Services Plans (PFFS), Special Needs Plans (SNP) and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA).

How do I choose the right Medicare Advantage plan?

The two key ways to acquire Medicare coverage is through “Original Medicare” (Part A & Part B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Here are a few tips to help determine which coverage you would like to select:

  • Determine whether you want Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan like an HMO or PPO
  • Determine whether you want a prescription drug plan (Part D)
  • Comparison shop to review the costs and benefits
Will I be able to switch back to original Medicare if I no longer want a Medicare Advantage plan?

Yes, you are able to switch back to Original Medicare from a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Disenrollment Period (January 1st to February 14th). You may also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Find Medicare Advantage Plans for as low as $0