Medicare Part C
Medicare Advantage Plans are often referred to as Medicare Part C. A Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) often covers items that are not covered by Parts A and B. These could include dental, vision, and gym membership benefits. The general outline of MAPs, how they work, and what they cover is below.
Services Not Covered by Parts A and B
Parts A and B of Medicare already cover many services. To understand why some consumers may choose a Medicare Advantage Plan over Original Medicare, you must understand what Original Medicare neglects. The following services are not covered by Part A or B in Original Medicare:
- Alternative medicine like acupuncture and massage therapy
- Concierge Medicine
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Dental care/Dentures
- Hearing aids and fitting exams
- Long-term care
- Routine physical exams
- Vision care/exams
Some Medicare Advantage Plans will cover these services.
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Medicare Advantage Plans & Coverage
Medicare Advantage Plans offer alternatives to Original Medicare. Offered by Medicare-approved private companies, MAPs often cover different services in exchange for a monthly premium. Many MAPs include Part D for prescription drug coverage in addition to some of the services not offered by Parts A and B, above.
It is important to note that anyone who has a MAP also retains Original Medicare. This is important for certain services that are not covered by MAPs but are covered by Original Medicare. For example, MAPs usually cover almost everything covered by Parts A and B in Original Medicare. However, there are certain services that some MAPs do not cover. For these services, Original Medicare will kick in and cover the cost, even if the individual has a MAP. Specifically, Original Medicare will cover hospice care, new Medicare benefits, and some clinical research study costs.
Types of MAPs
There are six different types of MAPs. Each type of MAP has its advantages and disadvantages. People typically choose one of the six types based on their pre-existing health conditions, employment status, and health concerns. The six types are:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS)
- Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
- HMO Point-of-Service (HMOPOS)
- Medical Savings Account (MSA
Choosing a MAP
There are multiple types of Medicare Advantage Plans, so be sure to understand each type before choosing. Depending on the plan, you could pay more in costs than you would with Original Medicare. However, Medicare Advantage Plans can serve as a great alternative to Original Medicare because of its additional benefits.