Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, is a form of Medicare containing Parts A, B, and sometimes D. This form of Medicare is administered by private insurance companies that have been approved by CMS (Medicare).
The benefits are structured similar to Original Medicare. There are out of pocket expenses in the form of copays and coinsurance. But Original Medicare has no out of pocket limit and Medicare Advantage does. Because of the out of pocket limit and more manageable copays, MA plans can be a better option than Original Medicare without a Medicare supplement.
Of course when you have Original Medicare combined with a Medicare supplement insurance policy Plan F, you do not have to pay copays and you do not have restrictions on which doctors you can use. But some people cannot afford a Medicare supplement or are not eligible for a Medicare supplement. For these people, Medicare Advantage might be better than Original Medicare alone.
Medicare Advantage Plans sometimes have some extra benefits that Original Medicare does not have, such as some limited routine dental and vision benefits. Some of the MA plans even have health club memberships.
People with Medicare Advantage still have to pay their Part B Medicare premium unless they have extra help. They may also have to pay an additional premium depending on where they live. But the extra premium is generally less than a Medicare supplement premium. And the premium may or may not include the Part D Rx premium.
It is important to distinguish between MA plans and Medicare supplement plans. With Medicare Advantage, you are not eligible for a Medicare supplement insurance policy. You are responsible for paying the copays and coinsurance, which can be a lot out of your pocket. For example: one plan requires you to pay $10,000 per year out of your pocket before they cover 100% of approved charges
If you are not able to afford a Medicare supplement insurance plan, or are on disability, or if you are okay with paying some costs out of your pocket when you use your benefits, a Medicare Advantage Plan might be an option for you to consider.
We can help you find Medicare Advantage Plans available where you live. If you are interested, please give us a call at 1-877-290-4200.