Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. Qualifying for Medicare Advantage requires members to already have been enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Part C offers coverage options beyond those offered in Parts A and B, while also offering some of the same features. Many beneficiaries opt for the Medicare Advantage because of this extended coverage.
If you select the Advantage plan, then you do not have to also sign up for Part A or B in original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are sold on the open market by third-party, private insurance companies. Certain enrollees receive free Part C benefits but most members are charged monthly premiums.
Only those with specific, qualified and significantly debilitating disabilities receive Part C benefits at no cost. Premiums range from $33 to just less than $500 per month.
Unlike other types of insurance plans you cannot combine your insurance with your spouse’s insurance.
Each spouse must select their own Medicare Advantage plans. This often makes it inconvenient if you must schedule regular checkups with different participating doctors and facilities.
Companies selling Medicare Advantage plans are required to follow all federally mandated regulations and quality control guidelines. Medicare Advantage plans cover only limited prescription medication costs. Make sure your prescription drugs are covered by your selected plan. If not, consider combining your Advantage plan with the Part D, prescription drug plan as well.
The primary services and treatments covered by Part C plans include dental, vision, hearing and health & wellness programs. All Part C out-of-pocket expenses vary with each provider and the state in which the provider is located.