How is Medicare Part C different and why can’t I find how much it costs?
Medicare Part C, now called Medicare Advantage, is medical and hospital insurance provided by private companies. Part C:
- Covers everything in Medicare Parts A and B.
- May also cover other medical expenses (e.g. vision, dental).
- May also provide cost-sharing such as co-insurance or copay, but may add additional expense.
- May have premiums that will vary on an individual county basis. Most Medicare Advantage Plans are managed care plans, usually a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a preferred provider organization (PPO). These plans may require that you choose a primary care physician and get a referral from your PCP to see a specialist, and use only doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities and services that are part of that health plans’ provider network.
Can I change my coverage?
There are certain times of year when you can make changes to the coverage you already have:
1.) During certain open enrollment periods that happen every year from October 15 – December 7.
2.) Under certain circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), such as the following:
- You move.
- You’re eligible for Medicaid.
- You qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs.
- You’re getting care in an institution, such as a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital.
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