Introduction to Medicare: Part C

 

This is a brief 5-Part Simple Series to provide an Introduction to Medicare. After the initial introduction, each post will provide a description and information about one Part of Medicare including important deadlines, eligible applicants and other critical features.

 

What Is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage plans, are available in many areas. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all their health care services through a private insurance company approved by Medicare to provide this coverage. This may also include Part D. Private companies, approved by Medicare, offer Medicare Advantage plans. Currently, Unitedhealthcare offers the only Medicare Advantage plan in Wyoming. While many people see benefits to Medicare Advantage Plans, there are key features to consider. For example, if you are a fairly healthy individual, many of these plans provide extra coverage and may lower your out-of-pocket costs. However, it’s likely if you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may not be able to move back to original Medicare and/or have a Medicare supplement. This can create issues and high out of pocket expenses if your health needs change. With these plans, you can’t have a Medigap policy, because Medicare Advantage plans work differently. Medicare Advantage plans include:

 

  • Medicare managed-care plans (HMOs)
  • Medicare preferred provider organization plans (PPOs)
  • Medicare private fee-for-service plans (PFFs)
  • Medicare specialty plan

 

Am I Eligible for Medicare Part C?

If you are eligible to receive Part A and Part B benefits directly from the government you are eligible for Part C plans.

 

How Much Does It Cost?

Plan costs will vary. Visit Medicare.gov/find-a-plan to get plan premiums or contact Unitedhealthcare to learn about Wyoming plan options.

 

What Are Critical Enrollment Deadlines for Medicare Part C?

You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during your initial enrollment period, three months prior to your 65th birthday or the first time you’re eligible for Medicare. You can also enroll during the annual Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 – December 7 each year. There are also special enrollment periods for some situations.

 

When Will My Coverage Start?

If you enroll during the enrollment period from October 15-December 7, your coverage will begin January 1 of the upcoming year.

 

For more information about Senior Patient Advocates or to learn about Medicare Part C or other components visit Senior Patient Advocates’ website, sign up for upcoming Medicare course curriculum, or call (307) 472-1770.

 

Public Information Resources (Do Not Need to be Sited):

Social Security Administration Handbook

Medicare Rates from Terry

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