Medicare C (Medicare Advantage) includes all benefits and services covered by Parts A and B. Some plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) and other additional benefits and services.
Medicare Part C (Medicare advantage insurance plans)
If you get Part A and B directly from the government, then you are subscribed to the main Medicare program. If you get coverage through Medicare Advantage or a Medicare-approved private company, you’re subscribed to Medicare Advantage.
Many of these plans provide additional coverage and may lower your service costs. If you get Medicare Parts A and B, you can sign up for Medicare Advantage. With these plans, you cannot purchase a Medigap because Medicare Advantage plans cover many of the benefits offered by Medigap policy. These include benefits such as extra days of hospitalization after using all days covered by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage insurance plans include:
- Medicare Coordinated Care Plans;
- Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO);
- Private Medicare piecework insurance plans;
- Medicare Specialized Insurance Plans.
If you decide to sign up for Medicare Advantage, you will need to use an insurance card issued by your Medicare Advantage provider. You may also have to pay monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage because it offers additional benefits.
You can sign up for Medicare Advantage during your initial subscription to the program, once you get your Medicare eligibility. You can also subscribe during the annual Medicare open subscription period from October 15 to December 7 of each year.
The subscription comes into effect on January 1 of the following year. For some situations, special subscription periods are provided.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug insurance) helps pay for prescription drugs. Any person who receives Medicare Part A or B meets the criteria for Part D (prescription/pharmacy drug insurance). Part D benefits are available as a standalone plan or as part of your Medicare Advantage plan. The benefits of drugs are the same, regardless of the method of obtaining them. Subscribing to Medicare Part D is optional. It is subject to an additional insurance premium. Those with higher incomes will be charged a higher contribution to Part D.
If you do not sign up for a Medicare plan as soon as you qualify, you may have to pay a penalty for the delay. You will have to pay this penalty for subscription duration.
Medicare prescription drug plan. However, you won’t have to pay a fine if you sign up for Extra Help or another creditable prescription drug insurance plan.
You can sign up for a plan during your initial program subscription period as soon as you qualify for Medicare. You can also subscribe during the annual Medicare open subscription period from October 15 to December 7 of each year. The subscription comes into effect on January 1 of the following year. For some situations, special subscription periods are provided.
Help provided to some low-income people
If you are unable to pay Medicare fees and other medical expenses, you may be able to count on help at the state level.
The states offer low-income eligible Medicare programs. Some programs may cover Medicare payments, some may pay deductibles and Medicare co-insurance. To participate in these programs, a person must receive Medicare Part A and have limited income and resources.
Only your state administration can decide whether you are eligible for assistance with these programs. To find out if you qualify for assistance, contact your local organization or organization at Medicaid staff.
You may also be able to sign up for Extra Help, which pays for the annual deductible, monthly fees, and prescriptions for Medicare (Part D). Persons with limited income (relative to the federal poverty level) and limited resources may qualify for Extra Help.