Medicare Part C Plans

Most seniors know about Medicare parts A and B, collectively called Original Medicare or basic Medicare. Not as many people are familiar with Medicare Part C and the various Medicare Part C plans. These are health insurance plans meant to take the place of Original Medicare and provide greater, more comprehensive coverage to seniors.

If you find that the Original Medicare plan is simply not enough and leaves you with too much to pay for out of pocket, then you should consider Medicare Part C. If even the basic Part C plan isn’t enough for you, though, there are some high coverage ones that could be a good fit for your situation. We’ll tell you all about these plans and how you can get them at a good price.

The Basic Medicare Part C Plan

Medicare has created the basic Part C plan to be great for seniors. It covers those medical expenses that are most common and relevant to them. It can cover you for any emergency medical care that you need, and this can include all ambulance services, all ER treatment and anything else considered to be emergency care.

The basic plan also provides coverage for urgently needed care. Of course, what is defined as urgently needed will depend on the situation. In some cases, a medical test would be considered urgent care, whereas if you simply elect to have a medical test done without a doctor’s referral, then that would not be covered by the Advantage plan.

All Medicare Advantage plans also provide coverage for most every Medicare Part A benefits and for all of the Part B benefits. They will cover you for many inpatient and outpatient expenses, like your visits to the hospital, your nursing care, your doctor’s office visits and more.

This basic coverage can be expected of every single Medicare Advantage plan. No matter which insurance company sells the plan, no matter how much they charge for the plan and no matter what other coverage is included, the basic coverage will be a part of it.

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Medicare Part C Plans

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Medicare Part C with Medicare Part D

Do you have some prescriptions that need to be refilled a few times a year? They can probably get pretty expensive, and you might like some way to minimize those costs and not have to pay as much for the drugs that you need.

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Medicare Part D can provide that coverage for you, and a lot of Medicare Part C plans will include that for you. While insurance companies are not required to include Part D drug coverage with their Part C Advantage plans, most of them do anyway. This is considered fairly standard coverage.

Part D plans offer powerful medication coverage, insuring you for generic and name brand drugs that many seniors need. They offer lots of coverage for common medications, and then they offer at least some coverage for many of those less common, more expensive medications. You can be covered extensively for the drugs that you need and cut your cost by hundreds of dollars a year.

Imagine going to the pharmacy and only paying $1 for each prescription medication, when previously you paid $20 or $50 for each refill. The savings could be incredible, and the price of $1 per prescription is actually fairly common among Part D plans. Each Part D plan is different, as the insurance companies offer their own versions of these highly helpful insurance plans. But they tend to offer similar coverage. You should be able to get similar coverage no matter which insurance company you enroll with.

Medicare Part C with Checkup Coverage

The basic coverage (that includes Medicare parts A and B, as well as emergency care and urgent care) is included in all the Advantage plans. Some of the higher coverage Medicare Advantage plans will cover you for all of that basic coverage and then add on coverage for routine checkups.

These can be checkups with each of the following:

  • Optometrists
  • Dentists
  • Hearing specialists
  • General practitioners

 

Some insurance companies will give you coverage for multiple visits to the specialist listed above. You can also get many different services covered for those visits, like medical tests, x-rays and dental cleanings, to name a few. Check with your insurance company, or the insurance company you are interested in signing up with, and you can find out what kind of benefits are included in their Advantage plans that come with checkups benefits.

Some Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for everything we have listed so far, including basic benefits, checkup benefits and a Medicare Part D plan. All of this can combine to make a very powerful plan that provides seniors with coverage they will love. Imagine the peace of mind you’ll enjoy knowing that simply making your insurance payments each month will result in such comprehensive coverage and will leave you little left to pay out of your own pockets.

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Medicare Part C Plans

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PPOs and HMOs

Once you have looked through those different kinds of Advantage plans and their various benefits, you should consider how well you will be covered should you go outside of your insurer’s network. Every insurance company you could enroll with will have a limited network on which they operate. Insurers like Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Mutual of Omaha will have a network of healthcare providers that they have agreements with. These clinics, hospitals and doctors will have agreed to accept their Medicare Advantage plans. The ones that haven’t will be considered to be off-network. You can still go there with your Advantage plan, but you may not want to expect your Advantage plan to cover you at all.

Insurance companies may offer you a few different choice for how you want to be covered on their network. This doesn’t affect your medical benefits in any way, but it does determine which healthcare facilities will cover you and how much coverage they will provide.

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The HMO is the standard option. It’s cheap and simple, and it will provide you with full coverage inside your insurer’s network. These kinds of Medicare Part C plans provide absolutely no coverage for outside the network, though. They offer limited coverage at a very competitive price, so if you live inside your insurer’s network area, it makes sense to sign up for one of the HMO Advantage plans.

If you travel a lot or you don’t live close to a network facility, you may want something with more flexibility. The PPO plan is a more expensive choice, and it will give you coverage on the network and cover you partially outside the network. PPOs are often the common Medicare Advantage plan for rural areas, where there are fewer choices for medical care facilities and doctors. PPO plans make more sense in those parts of the country, as they can ensure that seniors are covered well no matter where they go for their medical care.

Medicare Advantage plans are sometimes offered as POS plans. These are not as common as the other two we just mentioned, but they can provide seniors with an affordable way to get coverage in most areas of the country. POS plans provide full coverage for any medical care received on the network, and then they offer a discounted price for any healthcare received outside the network. These discounted prices have been predetermined, so if you go off network for your care, you can check ahead of time to see how much you will pay.

Special Needs plans are another type of Advantage plan that affect network coverage. They are generally cheaper than these other options, but you can only qualify for them if you are eligible for special needs benefits. If you aren’t sure if you qualify, feel free to call us and get your questions answered.

Medicare Part C Plans

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Comparing the Medicare Part C Advantage Plans

We have told you about a number of different Advantage plans, and now we want to share with you how you can best compare them. The more of them you compare, the likelier you are to find a Part C plan that is a good fit for you. You’ll want a coverage plan that provides you with relevant coverage and that is affordable for you. Once you have looked through your options, you should know what will fit your coverage needs best, but how do you find a plan that fits your budget?

One way to do that is to use our site to compare quotes. You can easily source quotes through our website, just by entering your zip code and requesting a search. In just a few seconds, you will get back a list of results. This will tell you what the going price is for Medicare Advantage plans for your area.

Local quotes are important, because Medicare Part C can be sold at different rates depending on where you live. The insurance companies selling Part C plans are allowed to price the plans as they see fit, and that means that they can charge very high or very low rates depending on how competitive they want to be. You can actually get some great rates on these plans, ranging from an astoundingly low $0 a month all the way up to $300 a month. Of course, the average price for a Medicare Part C plan will rest somewhere around the $150 mark.

You also have to factor in the deductible that is due each year. This is not set at a standardized price either, so the deductible will vary from one insurance provider to the next. You may still be required to pay premiums on Medicare parts A and B, as you’ll have the Original Medicare plan in there as well. The two plans work together to provide you with a comprehensive blanket of coverage, and the insurance provider selling your Medicare Advantage will essentially become your basic Medicare provider as well.

We keep pricing information completely up to date, so you can trust that the data you get from us is accurate. The quotes we provide come directly from the insurance companies, and that will be updated as soon as it changes. You can expect rates to increase from year to year, and if you want to get in on the lowest possible rates then you should sign up as early as possible. You can get low rates locked in and not pay anything higher for the rest of the year. Then, if you stay as a faithful customer with the same insurance company, as the rates increase for new subscribers, you can enjoy lower rates or a loyalty discount.

Enrolling in Part C Plans

Medicare Part C enrollment starts around your 65th birthday. You can apply for your Part C plan anywhere from three months before your birthday until three months after. This Open Enrollment period comes with all sorts of benefits. It gives you guaranteed approval, meaning that you are sure to get whichever Advantage plan you apply for. It also comes with guaranteed low rates, and your price is not at all affected by any preexisting medical conditions that you might have.

Now, if you want to wait a while to sign up for your Advantage plan, then you are free to do so. Just know that you will lose out on some of the perks of signing up during Open Enrollment. Once a year, from October 15th until December 7th, you have the annual enrollment period. Your preexisting medical conditions are going to come into play here and could increase the price of Medicare Advantage plan coverage for you. Keep that in mind as you try to decide when you should enroll.

Medicare Part C plans may be able to greatly reduce your overall healthcare costs. If you need some expert advice, be sure to call us. We are happy to talk to you and help you make the best decision for health insurance. We can answer your questions and tell you about your options.

Medicare Part C Plans

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