Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C)
Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C) is a combination of your Part A and Part B options and must cover at least all of the services that Original Medicare covers (Part A and Part B). One difference is that only private insurance companies approved by Medicare can provide this type of coverage. Part C is often a lower out-of-pocket risk alternative to the Original Medicare Plan, and usually provides extra benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs and may include prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Part C plans often have networks in which you must use the doctors or hospitals that are contracted with the plan. Costs for items and services vary by plan and by insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans have several plan types available. To enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan you must live in the service area, be enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare and not have ESRD (end stage renal disease).