When you are trying to make choices regarding your healthcare options and Medicare plans, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Having an understanding of how each part of Medicare works will help you to choose the plan that is right for your individual needs.
One plan you may consider is Medicare Part C, which is also called a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you choose this type of plan, it will combine both Medicare Parts A and B. The difference between this and staying with traditional Medicare plans is that Medicare approved private insurance companies will be providing the coverage. In most cases, this is a lower cost alternative to Medicare Parts A and B. So, how do you know if Medicare Part C is right for you? There are some things to consider when deciding whether to use a traditional Medicare plan or to opt for Medicare Part C. One of the biggest things to think about is that Medicare Part C plans generally have networks, and you need to use the doctors and facilities that belong to that network.
There are different types of Medicare C plans. The most common ones are the Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and a Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Both of these plans use a network of providers; however the HMO is more restrictive, requiring you to use only network providers. With a PPO, you may go out of network but will incur higher costs. Most Part C plans also include prescription drug coverage.
Before making the decision about whether Part C is right for you, consider the doctors and hospitals you use on a regular basis. Determine if the Medicare Part C plans in your area have networks which include these providers. Ask questions and make sure you understand the plans and premiums for all of your options. Once you have that information, you will be able to make an informed decision.