Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C plans, are another way to get Original Medicare Parts A and B. If you choose to get health coverage from a Medicare Part C plan, the government pays the private insurance company you select to manage your care. This is typically convenient, as it turns what would normally be multiple plans into a single, “all-in-one” plan. Not sure if a Medicare Advantage Plan is right for you? Contact one of our licensed insurance agents and we can help you find the perfect Medicare plan to fit your needs.
Through a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you will pay the following:
- Part A premiums (if any)
- Part B premiums
- The Medicare Advantage plan’s premium (if any)
- Any deductibles, copays, or coinsurance.
- A Medicare Advantage plan provides coverage for all care covered by
Original Medicare (Parts A and B), and many plans also include coverage for:
- Vision and hearing exams
- Dental care
- Foot care
- Yearly routine exams
- Wellness classes
Enrolling in Medicare Advantage / Medicare Part C
You may only enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Part C plan during these specified enrollment periods:
Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP)
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage when you first become eligible for Medicare. The Initial Coverage Election Period for Medicare Part C is a seven-month period starting 3 months before the month you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65. If you are under age 65 and you receive Social Security disability, you will qualify for Medicare in the 25th month after you began receiving Social Security benefits.
Annual Election Period (Medicare Open Enrollment)
If you are already enrolled in Original Medicare, then you will need to wait until the next annual enrollment period in order to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. The Annual Election Period runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period, your coverage will begin on January 1 of the next year.
Special Election Period
There are certain life events that might qualify you for a Special Election Period falling outside of the Initial and Annual Election Periods. Some examples of these life events may include (but aren’t limited to):
- Moving outside of your current Medicare Advantage Plan’s service area
- Moving into a nursing home or other institution
- Your current plan is leaving Medicare
If you would like to leave the Medicare Part C plan you enrolled in and go back to Original Medicare, the disenrollment period lasts from January 1st through February 14th each year. You may also sign up for a Part D plan at this time.