Medicare Part C, more commonly known as Medicare Advantage plans, are a type of health plan offered through private companies that contract with Medicare to provide you with your Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Medical) benefits. Medicare Advantage plans work much like insurance during our working years with networks for doctors and hospitals, deductibles, and co-pays. In addition to their full Medicare benefits, Medicare Advantage plans may also include vision, dental, drug coverage, and more.
What You Should Know about Medicare Advantage
You are still part of Medicare: You must have Part A & B of Medicare to be eligible to enroll in an Advantage plan, and while on the plan you still have all of the rights and protections of Medicare.
Networks for Doctors and Hospitals: Each company has its own network of doctors and hospitals. Be sure to check that your current doctors and hospitals are in network for the plan you are selecting.
Pre-Existing Conditions: You can join a Medicare Advantage plan even if you have a pre-existing condition, with the exception of End- Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Follow the Rules: In order to avoid extra costs you must be sure to follow the rules of your plan, such as staying in network, and getting a referral to see a specialist.
Additional Benefits: In addition to standard Medicare benefits, many plans include coverage for Vision, Dental, Drugs, and even gym memberships.
Low Monthly Premiums: Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are typically fairly low since Medicare contracts with these insurance companies to provide your Part A & B benefits on behalf of Medicare.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans in Pasco County have Part B refund plans that will "give back" a portion of your Medicare Part B to your Social Security check every month!