What is Medicare Part C, and how does it work?
As part of Medicare, you will have the option of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as an HMO or PPO). Private companies that have been approved by Medicare sell Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as "Part C" or "MA Plans."
If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, it will cover all of your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) expenses. Extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness services, may be available via Medicare Advantage Plans. The majority of them cover Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Every month, Medicare pays the organizations that sell Medicare Advantage Plans a set sum for your care. These businesses must abide by Medicare's regulations. However, each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different guidelines on how you receive services (such as if you need a referral to see a physician or whether you can only get non-emergency or non-urgent treatment from physicians, hospitals, or providers who are members of the plan). Each year, the rules can change.