Is Medicare Part C the same as Medicare supplemental Insurance? No, it is not. Medicare, with its many plans, can sometimes seem confusing. However, a good understanding of the benefits offered can allow Medicare beneficiaries to enjoy substantial savings on healthcare.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage Plan, is a primary insurance alternative to separate Medicare Part B and Medicare Part A coverage. It combines the benefits of the two. Medicare Part B normally covers office visits, and Medicare Part A covers hospital and durable medical equipment services. Medicare Part C covers all medically necessary services. It is provided by Medicare-approved private insurance companies and includes coverage for prescribed medications.
Medicare Part C includes the following Medicare plan options:
• Special Needs Plans- Options which are intended for patients with long term disease.
• Private Fee-for- Service- The patient may be seen by any physician, and a referral is not required. However, he or she must agree to the terms and fees.
• Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) – The beneficiary must be serviced by doctors who are a part of the HMO network.
• Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – The patient can choose any physician, but if the doctor is not a part of the PPO network, the patient could be responsible for additional costs.
• Medical Savings Account (MSA) – These plans consist of two components: an option where coverage doesn’t start until a yearly deductible has been met and a second choice in which Medicare saves money in an account for the patient to apply to medical costs.
Medicare Part C is not a Medicare supplemental insurance plan. It is a complete primary plan offering multiple coverage options to Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Part C can be elected in place of Medicare Part B, Part A, and Plan D.