When an individual becomes eligible for Medicare, Parts A and B are normally discussed as coverage options. However, recipients can also obtain coverage under Medicare Part C, and it is important to understand the benefits offered prior to making a final decision on coverage to.
Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage Plan and is works similar to a PPO or HMO by combining Part A and B options into one plan provided by a Medicare-approved private insurance company. Typically, Part C costs less than the original Medicare plans while offering additional benefits such as eye coverage or prescription drug coverage.
Since Part C providers operate like to a PPO or HMO, beneficiaries must use participating plan caregivers. If a beneficiary requires multiple specialty services, care is more easily coordinated. Additionally, emergency services are available outside of the plan coverage area.
If the Medicare Part C program does not offer prescription drug coverage (Part D), participation in Medicare Part D is possible. However, if prescription drug coverage is included in the Part C plan, participants must use that prescription coverage.
Medicare Part C participants still have coverage under Medicare Parts A, B, and D. Individuals residing in a Part C service area are eligible for a plan if already eligible for Medicare Part A and B. However, there are minor exceptions for individuals who have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
There are several Medicare Part C plans offering coverage to beneficiaries, and while it might seem overwhelming at first, the plans offered are relatively straightforward and may offer lower cost care for individuals who are eligible for Medicare. By thoroughly investigating the options, Medicare recipients can make an informed decision regarding participation in Part C.