Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs) that provide both hospital coverage and doctor coverage. They are sold by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. They provide the same coverage as in the Original Medicare program (Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B)). But instead of selecting any doctor or hospital, as in the Original Medicare program, a person who selects Part C uses the doctors and hospitals in the Part C provider network. Most Part C plans also offer extra coverage, including vision, dental, hearing and health/wellness plans. Most Part C plans also offer prescription drug coverage.
Part C plans typically have monthly premiums paid by beneficiaries.
Medicare pays a set amount each month for a participant???s care to the private companies offering Part C. The companies must follow Medicare requirements, but they can charge different prices for out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for getting services.
About 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Part C, which means they participate in networks of doctors and hospitals. The other 75 percent are in Original Medicare, which means they can use any hospital or doctor participating in Medicare.
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