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Medicare Part C: What Is Medicare Advantage?
By Chris Gasparini
Chris Gasparini has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. He enjoys helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate their options to find the best solution for their unique needs. Chris feels as though ...his work truly helps people. Because he represents multiple insurance companies and plan types, Chris is able to help Medicare beneficiaries find the most cost-effective plan. Every day, he leaves work knowing he did what was right for each and every client he serves.Read more
May 20, 2020
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, allows you to receive your benefits from a private insurance company approved by Medicare.
If you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can receive your benefits from a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are not supplemental insurance, but rather health insurance plans of their own.
Medicare Advantage plan features include:
- May require you to pay additional premiums, co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket expenses, but offer a yearly limit on out-of-pocket costs
- Must be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program
- Must maintain a contract with CMS to provide Medicare coverage
- May offer prescription drug coverage (see Medicare Part D) as part of their plan offering
- May require you to use a specific network of doctors and hospitals
Medicare Part C Payments and Enrollment
With a Part C plan, you may be able to lower your out-of-pocket costs. Some Medicare Advantage plans have lower co-payments than Medicare Parts A and B, but are also limited to certain service areas and often involve networks. You may have to pay a premium each month due to the extra benefits the plan may provide. The amount you pay out-of-pocket varies from plan to plan. Compare plans carefully to determine which plan best suits your needs and your budget.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period and the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period. There are also Special Enrollment Periods for certain situations.
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