What is Medicare Part C?
Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage. In its most basic form, Medicare Advantage allows you to trade in your rights under Original Medicare to have a private insurance company offer similar benefits. Many of these plans offer low cost or zero-dollar monthly premiums and are accompanied by a drug plan and other perks. The trade-off is a much smaller network of doctors, similar service costs to those of Original Medicare, and a potential out-of-pocket maximum of $7,550 for the year.
How Do I Enroll In Medicare Part C?
To enroll in Medicare Part C, or a Medicare Advantage plan (MAPD), you must be enrolled in Medicare parts A and B, continue to pay your Part B premium, and live within the plans service area. You can choose to enroll in an MAPD during your Initial Enrollment Period upon first joining Medicare, or each year during during the Annual Enrollment period from October 15th - December 7th.
What Does Medicare Part C Cover?
Medicare Advantage Plans always cover emergency and urgent care.
Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers except hospice care. Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Advantage plans usually involve lower monthly premiums up front, in exchange for higher copayments and cost sharing when using the services.
Medicare Advantage Plans are not supplemental coverage.
Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs.
Most Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).