Part C (Medicare Advantage, MA OR MAPD)
Medicare Advantage plans are health plan options (like an HMO or PPO) approved by Medicare and offered by private Insurance Companies. These plans are part of Original Medicare and are sometimes called "Part C"or "MA Plans".
Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the Insurance company offering Medicare Advantage plans. These Insurance companies must follow rules set by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans provide your Medicare Coverage and usually your Part D coverage. They are not Supplemental Insurance also known as Medigap. Not all Medicare Advantage plans work the same way, so find out the plans rules before joining.
Medicare Advantage plans provide all of your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage. This means they must cover at least all of the services that Medicare covers. However, Each Medicare Advantage plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs. These are usually copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.
Medicare Advantage plans can only be joined or dropped during your Initial Enrollment Period ( the 6 months following the month you're first enrolled in Medicare Part B), Annual Enrollment Period ( October 15th- December 7th of each year) or Annual Dis-enrollment Period ( January 1st- February 14th of each year). You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.