Medicare Part C, most often referred to as Medicare Advantage, is a more complete Medicare plan that combines the benefits of Medicare Part A, B and D into one. Medicare Advantage also provides coverage for additional medical services that Original Medicare does not provide coverage for.
The extra services that Medicare Part C covers include vision, dental and other adjacent medical services that are overlooked in Original Medicare Plans.
Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage also includes prescription drug coverage more often than not and does not need to be added separately.
You will also not need to worry about adding Medigap policies to your Medicare Advantage plan, as you will most likely not need additional medical services.
Medicare Advantage plans also set limits to how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket for medical services each so eligible participants do not need to worry about unexpected costs.
Medicare Advantage Plans come in the following forms:
- Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO)
- Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO)
- Private Fee For Service Plans (PFFS)
- Special Needs Plans (SNP)
PPOs are usually the most flexible of the available plans, as you will be able to visit doctors both in and out of your network. However, you will always pay less to visit a doctor in your network than when you visit a doctor outside of your network.
HMOs are more strict and rarely allow you to visit doctors or specialists outside of your network unless it is an emergency. You are still allowed to visit doctors outside of your network if you wish, but you need to pay many more costs out of pocket as you will not be fully covered.
SNP is like an HMO or PPO except you need to meet specific requirements for full disability coverage. Since this is a specific Medicare plan that focuses on those with disabilities, it has additional coverage options to help special needs individuals.
PFFS work more like Original Medicare than Medicare Advantage because each medical cost is determined when you need it rather than paying a fixed cost to have access to certain medical services each year.