Medicare Part C:  Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage (Part C) is another way to get your Medicare benefits.

Medicare Advantage Plans are an alternative to Original Medicare and offer another way to get your benefits. You still have Medicare, and Medicare contracts with the Insurance Company to administer your benefits.   Plans are offered regionally, by county or state, by private insurance companies.  There are different types of Part C plans. Most plans have provider networks you need to use. Plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Your choices vary depending on where you live. Coverage and costs beyond the standards set by Medicare vary from plan to plan. 

You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for a Part C plan.

For a more in-depth look at how Medicare Advantage Plans work please watch our video.

All Medicare Advantage Plans Cover:

  • All the benefits of Part A (except hospice care, which is still covered by Part A)
  • All the benefits of Part B

Most Medicare Advantage Plans Cover:

  • Prescription drugs

Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits, such as:

  • Dental exams, cleanings and X-rays
  • Eye exams, eyeglasses and corrective lenses
  • Hearing exams and hearing aids
  • Wellness programs and gym memberships
  •  Worldwide emergency coverage

Medicare Advantage Costs

  • Premium
    • Plan premiums vary widely and can change from year to year.
    • You continue to pay your Part B premium to Medicare.
  • Deductible
    • Some plans have deductibles, and others don’t.
    • Plans may charge deductibles for drug benefits only.
    • Amounts vary from plan to plan.
  • Copay
    • Many plans charge copays for doctor visits, prescriptions, etc.
    • Amounts vary from plan to plan.
  • Coinsurance
    • Plans may set coinsurance terms for certain services.
    • Costs during the Part D coverage gap may apply.

Medicare Advantage plans put a cap on your out-of-pocket costs for Part A and B services covered by the plan. This offers financial protection. The maximum is $7,550 in 2021, but plans may set lower limits. There is no limit with Original Medicare.