Medicare Part C – or Medicare Advantage – is another component of the Medicare health insurance plan. This insurance option combines the coverage and services from Parts A, B and D into one simple plan.
Unlike Medicare Part A, B or D, Medicare Advantage plans are offered from private insurance companies, not the government. As such, medical costs, eligibility and other specific details vary by company.
Although Medicare Part C plans are offered from third-party administrators, they must cover all of the same services as Original Medicare. This includes inpatient and outpatient services.
Additionally, Part C plans may provide coverage for the following extra services that are not covered in Original Medicare:
- Fitness programs
Due to the differences in Medicare Advantage plans, it is always recommended to compare quotes from various companies. You should consider the costs associated with each plan, including premiums, coinsurance, copayments and deductibles.
Aside from comparing the cost of each plan, be sure to research what each type of Part C plan covers. Some companies may provide coverage for services that are uncommonly covered in other plans. For example, if you have asthma, you may want to find a plan that covers the cost of monthly inhalers.
Want to convert your Medicare Part A and B coverage into a Part C plan? Not happy with your Medicare Advantage coverage plan? You don’t have to keep these plans forever.
During Medicare open enrollment, you can switch insurance plans or drop and add coverage. The open enrollment period depends on the Medicare plan you wish to change:
- Switching from Medicare Part C to Original Medicare: January 1st – March 31st
- Switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Part C: October 15th – December 7th