Enrolling in Medicare and deciding on a Medicare Plan or Medicare supplement can be a daunting task. To make things even worse the terminology is new and not very descriptive. Part A, Part B, Part D and now Medicare part C!
Most people know that Medicare Part A is your hospital coverage that requires a deductible and generally speaking, co-pays for extended hospital stays.
Medicare Part B is your outpatient coverage that includes the dreaded 20% cost sharing that is your responsibility and Medicare Part D is the all too familiar and very important prescription drug coverage.
But what is Medicare Part C and is it something you should have?
Do I need Medicare Part C?
It would sound like with Parts A, B and D, you would have things covered, Right? Well maybe. But if you are unable to afford a Medicare supplement premiums, Part C may be very important.
Medicare Part C is another name for a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is often confusing because it is mistaken for the standardized Medigap Plan C, which is a completely different thing.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is another way to receive your Medicare benefits. A private insurance company contracts with and is approved by CMS to administer your Medicare benefits. Insurance companies are able to design plans that meet the minimum guidelines set by CMS, while offering you benefits that will give you value. If you choose their plan because of perceived value, they then make a profit by administering your Medicare.
Medicare Part C is not for everyone, but many people find it to be an affordable alternative to purchasing a Medicare supplement. Some of the benefits of Medicare Part C include:
- Often times lower monthly premiums than purchasing a Medicare supplement. Some plans have no monthly premium.
- Your Part D drug coverage is often included in the Part C Advantage Plan.
- Having fixed cost sharing, particularly by having set co-pays for various services like doctor’s visits. This eliminates the uncertainty of the 20% cost sharing for outpatient services.
- Medicare Part C plans generally have an annual maximum amount out-of-pocket. Original Medicare does not have a maximum. The question often becomes, “20% of what?”.
- Most plans include many benefits beyond what original Medicare offers. These benefits can include; dental, vision, hearing and often gym memberships and transportation to and from medical and pharmacy visits.
Medicare Part C plans are offered by many private insurance companies. You can find plans available in your County by going to the Medicare website and searching for plans your area.
Now that you know that Medicare Part C is is another name for a Medicare Advantage Plan, why not compare Medicare Plans online to determine if a plan is right for you?