The functions of Medicare Parts A, B and D are well known. In the late 1990s, a neglected letter of the alphabet was added to the federal government’s Medicare program. Now a recipient who is eligible for Medicare Parts A and B may chose for Part C.
Medicare Part C is an alternative for people eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Unlike the initial plans, which are private fee for services offerings, Part C allows a person to contract with a third party usually an insurance company to provide more custom benefits. Part C also allows a recipient to enroll in a medical savings plan or participate in HMOs.
While the HMOs and savings plans work well for most people’s health insurance needs, they do not always work best for a patient who has limited resources with which to work. HMOs may also deny claims that do not fall under coverage. If the Premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B are less expensive than the premiums charged by the privately managed plans, it makes financial sense to switch them. The levels of coverage are roughly the same.
Unless a person needs to use drugs that are delivered by durable medical equipment in his home that are covered under Medicare Part B, Part C does not cover prescription drugs. A patient can have Medicare Part C and Part D without any conflict.
A retiree can also have a Medigap Supplemental Insurance plan to carry the items that Medicare does not cover. However, if the rules for the private policy confuse the user more than the rules for the government-administered programs, a patient may still decide to drop this type of coverage.