Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C (Advantage) combines all of the benefits of Original Medicare with additional care coordination to lower your overall out-of-pocket costs, as well as some additional benefits.

Back to Basics—What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are privately-offered health insurance plans regulated on a federal level. So, unlike Original Medicare, benefits and costs can vary depending on the provider, your location, and the plan itself. 

There are 5 different MA plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): HMOs cost less than other Advantage policies, but have less flexible coverage.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): PPOs cost more than HMOs, but offer a much wider coverage network.
  • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS): These plans will determine how much it will pay and how much you will pay when you get treatment or care.
  • Special Needs Plans (SNP): These plans have limited enrollment and will only cater to those with specific needs, illnesses, etc.
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA): MSA plans include a savings account and high deductible plan to pay your medical costs.

The Cost of Medicare Advantage By Plan, Location, and Provider

But how are these costs determined? Because they are offered privately, specific premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance fees will vary based on a few factors. The first is, of course, the plan itself, explained above.

Some plans also include Part D coverage—this is a fantastic option for many beneficiaries, but it will make your MA plan cost a bit more. You can also add in Part D to a MA plan later on if you purchase one without it.

Next up is location. Some states have their own laws and regulations regarding Medicare Advantage. Costs also depend on the county or city you live in and what plans are available within your reach.

Finally is the provider itself. Because they are offered privately, companies must compete with one another to offer the best prices and benefits for potential customers. This is a good thing—healthy competition means more negotiable and lower-priced options for the buyer (you).

When and How to Enroll in Medicare Advantage

The best time to enroll in an Advantage plan is as soon as you are enrolled in Original Medicare. With this in mind, it’s important to note that if you were to ever decide to drop your Part B coverage, you will lose your Medicare Advantage coverage.

To enroll, you can do so during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which takes place annually from January 1st to March 31st. You can also enroll during the Annual Enrollment Period, which takes place from October 15th to December 7th of each year.

Why Work Alone When You Can Get Expert Help From Iowa Illinois Senior Solutions?

Friendly, genuine, expert help is hard to come by—Iowa Illinois Senior Solutions can help. With us behind your back, you know you’re getting a great deal on your Medicare Advantage coverage. To get started, give us a call at 563-579-6116, or email us at jon@iailsenior.com.

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