Medicare Part C is the third part of Medicare and gives you the freedom to customize your benefits to protect both your health and your bank account.
What Is Medicare Part C?
Better known as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C allows you to purchase private health insurance to expand and enhance your Medicare benefits. These private plans bundle your existing Original Medicare benefits with additional services to provide comprehensive protection.
Medicare Advantage may be the most important of the four parts of Medicare because it gives your control over your health and your finances. Today there are over 24 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
Why Medicare Part C Is Needed
Though Original Medicare provides excellent benefits, it’s far from complete coverage. Looming within your Original Medicare benefits are multiple deductibles, coinsurance, and copays for all covered services. These out-of-pocket expenses are uncapped and leave you exposed to catastrophic medical bills.
Medicare Part C fills these financial gaps within Medicare and extends your benefits to include vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drug coverage.
Understanding Your Medicare Benefits
There are four parts of Medicare. All of which are voluntary.
- Part A – hospital insurance for inpatient medical care
- Part B – doctors’ insurance for outpatient medical care
- Part C – private health insurance plans that fill the financial gaps of Medicare and provide additional covered services
- Part D – prescription drug coverage
While Parts A, B, and D provide specific coverage. Medicare Part C bundles all these coverages together for an all in one solution to your health care needs.
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What Medicare Part C Covers
Each Medicare Advantage Plan is unique and includes different benefits. However, all Medicare Part C plans must include all of your Original Medicare benefits. In other words, you don’t lose anything if you choose to enroll in Medicare Part C.
Medicare Advantage plans expand your benefits to include vision, dental, hearing, prescription drug coverage, health and exercise benefits, and some plans even include home health care benefits. These are benefits most of the older population needs yet are not included within Original Medicare.
Additionally, Medicare Part C plans fill the financial gaps of Original Medicare by replacing all your deductibles, coinsurance, and copays for a single, easy to manage monthly premium.
How Much Does Medicare Part C Cost?
Your plan’s total cost depends on the benefits contained within the policy. And because private insurance companies sell these plans, each has a different price. However, most people are surprised to find out how affordable Part C plans really are.
The average cost of Medicare Part C ranges between $0 – $200 per month. With 96% of the population having access to at least one $0 premium plan. However, your state and country determine how which Medicare Advantage plans are accessible.
Thanks to the new changes by the Trump Administration, CMS announced an estimated $21 average premium for Medicare Part C in 2021.
In 2020, 54% of Medicare Advantage plans had a $0 premium, other than paying for their monthly Part B premium.
Deductibles – some, but not all, Part C plans have an annual deductible.
Copays – some, but not all, plans have a flat fee copay for medical services.
Though there are costs for Medicare Part C plans, the benefits included within your coverage are there for your financial protection. If you have a chronic condition or use your Medicare benefits frequently, then a Part C plan will help protect your bank account.
How to Purchase a Medicare Part C Plan
Private insurance companies sell both Medicare Part C and D. Therefore, to buy these plans, you must go through private companies, not the government.
Shopping for a plan is the same as with any other insurance policy. Savvy shoppers will take the time to shop and compare all of their options before making a purchase. While this may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be.
Our independent agency is here to help you navigate the complex world of Medicare and help you locate your best Medicare Part C plan.
You can either go about the shopping process alone or you can get free help from a Medicare expert
You may only enroll in Medicare Part C during one of the Medicare Enrollment periods.
Your initial enrollment period is a seven-month window beginning three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and continues the following three months. The Medicare General Enrollment period is every year from January 1st to March 31st. And the Annual Enrollment Period is October 15th to January 7th each year. You may sign up for Medicare Part C during any of these enrollment periods.