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Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)

Medicare Advantage Plans are an alternative to "original Medicare." These plans are offered by private companies and are usually either an HMO or PPO plan. If you join Part C, you are still in the Medicare program and you have complete coverage for Part A and Part B.

What You Need To Know:

  • If you join a Part C plan, the biggest thing you need to be aware of is the network of doctors and hospitals you can visit. This will vary depending on the type of plan you join.
  • If you have a favorite doctor or hospital, make sure they are included in the covered network.
  • If you choose an HMO plan, you can only visit providers in the plan's network (except in an emergency). You will need a referral to a specialist from your primary care doctor.
  • If you choose a PPO plan, you can choose to see providers in the network and pay less, or you can go to providers outside of the network, but you'll pay more.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still be covered by a Part C plan.
  • Each plan is different so make sure you compare costs such as monthly premiums, annual deductibles and copayments/coinsurance.


These plans must offer all of the coverage of Part A and B, but they may also offer extra coverage such as:
  • Prescription drugs (Part D)
  • Eye exams
  • Hearing aids
  • Dental care
  • Health and wellness programs

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