Medicare Part C
What Does Medicare Part C Cover?
Medicare Part C is also known as "Medicare Advantage." You get the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B plus additional benefits not offered by Medicare like vision, hearing, dental, and other health and wellness programs. Sometimes you can get Part C coverage for little or even no additional monthly premium beyond what you already pay for Medicare Part B. With this coverage, you manage all of your care through a Medicare Advantage plan that is typically managed by a private insurance company with an approved contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Who is Eligible for Medicare Part C?
Anyone who is eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B is also eligible for Part C. To enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must also meet the following conditions:
Live in the plan's service area
Not have ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease)
Be a U.S. Citizen or lawfully present in the U.S.
When Do you Get Medicare Part C?
You can sign up for Part C during your Initial Enrollment Period (typically when you turn 65 or when you start taking Social Security). If you chose not to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can do so during the Annual Election Period which is October 15th-December 7th each year. There is no premium penalty for signing up for Medicare Advantage after your Initial Enrollment Period.
What Does Medicare Part C Cost?
Costs for Part C vary depending on the specific plan you choose. You continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, but there are a lot of Medicare Advantage plans that offer a $0 monthly premium beyond what you already pay for Part B. You may pay a deductible, copayments, or coinsurance for covered services. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
What are the different types of Medicare Advantage plans?
These are the most common types of Medicare Advantage plans:
Important Reminders about Part C:
Medicare Advantage can be thought of as the all-in-one plan. You are able to get the coverage that Medicare Part A and Part B provide plus many plans include Medicare Part D and additional benefits not offered by Medicare.