Thousands of people age 65 and older have Medicare as their primary insurance. Many of these people have switched to a Medicare Advantage Plan, otherwise known as Part C. The unique plans are health coverage that is offered through private insurance companies that Medicare has selected. Specific doctors, hospitals and other health professionals are approved by Medicare which are allowed by patients to use if so desired. Medicare pays these companies a specific amount of money that, in turn, pays for the individual’s health costs. There are both advantages and disadvantages to Medicare Advantage Plans that should be considered before altering health coverage.

One of the best advantages of using a Medicare Advantage Plan is that additional coverage may be offered. Medicare Advantage Plans occasionally do offer additional benefits such as dental and/or vision that may not have been covered under the original Medicare plan. Keep in mind this may vary by location such as city and state. Also, some private companies may use a zero down premium if the individual has a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of the regular Medicare. Another advantage of using a Medicare Advantage Plan is that once the individual pays the out-of-pocket limit that is set, they will not have to pay anything further and yet will still receive coverage for services.

Medicare Advantage Plans do have some disadvantages that interested parties should be aware of. Not all providers and doctors are covered under these types of plans, only specific professionals and places that the plans have designated can be used in order to receive full coverage through the program. Also, more rules may apply when using these plans. Many companies want referrals before administering coverage. These plans have contracts that are established with Medicare and sometimes they choose not to renew contracts which can leave the patient at a disadvantage. Location is also a huge factor with Medicare Advantage Plans. Different locations may have higher costs as well as fewer options or plans offered. Check your location to see if you’re eligible and make sure to read the details of each plan to see if it is the right coverage for you.

Part C Medicare Plans can be beneficial to the right person in the right location. Many people do use these plans successfully and have coverage to suit their health needs. Others have tried and have instead reverted back to original Medicare using Part A and Part B. Determining what is offered in your specific area as well as what providers are offered under the Medicare Advantage Plans in your area will help you determine if this plan is right for you. You can also call the number on your Medicare card, visit the general Medicare website or talk to a Medicare professional to help you answer any questions you may have about selecting a plan in Part C. Participants must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B to be considered eligible for a Part C Advantage Plan. Determine your situation, your location and services offered and see if a Medicare Advantage Plan is right for you.