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Are you turning 65 in a few months? Are you suddenly getting more Medicare advertisements in the mail, or are you coming across TV commercials? Do you know what to do with it? What makes it worse is that they all seem similar and say something absolutely different. You think to yourself, “why is all of this so complicated?” Let’s start with the basics;

What are the Basics of Medicare?

Before you jump into wanting to know what is Medicare part C, it is better to understand the basics first. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for anyone above the age of 65 or older, younger individuals with any disabilities, and all those people suffering from an End-Stage Renal disease.

Part A, B, C, or D? Which One to Go For?

  • Part A is the hospital insurance provided by the Federal Government that aids in paying for all the inpatient stays, hospice care, skilled nursing facilities, etc. You don’t have to pay a single dollar if you or your other half have paid Medicare taxes for 10 years. The Part A deductible applies to every benefit period, so it is quite possible that you have to pay more than 5 deductibles per year. There is no cap on the total costs each year. When does the benefit period start? It starts when you go to a hospital or make use of a skilled nursing facility for an overnight stay and finishes once you have been out for 2 months consecutively.
  • Part A & Part B are referred to as “Original Medicare.” Part B is the medical insurance provided by the Federal Government that aids in paying for your doctor’s visits, medical equipment, lab tests, ambulance rides, etc. Many new Medicare members pay in premium; however, the cost per month depends on your income. After the Part B deductible, Medicare pays not 50 but 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for a specific medical operation. There is no cap on the total money incurred each year.
  • Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage plans which private insurance companies offer, contracted with the Federal Government. For you to qualify for a Part C plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B first and have paid the premium for Part B. The private insurance company becomes your primary insurer, and all the plans must cover at least what Medicare Parts A & B cover. Most of the plans include drug coverage over-prescription; some may offer additional benefits such as providing hearing aid or eyesight glasses coverage.
  • Part D plans include prescription drug coverage offered by private insurance companies, which are also contracted with the Federal Government. In order to qualify for the Part D plan, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B but not Part C. There’s a list of covered drugs and pharmacies from where you can get them, which is designed by your insurance company beforehand. The coverage is broken into certain stages, and maximum out-of-pocket costs are determined by the stage you are at.

What are the Advantages of Medicare Plans? Are They Good for You?

If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan for all the wrong reasons, you will end up disappointed in the coverage, and it’ll cost you a ton of money. So, let’s see what the advantages are.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans are also referred to as Medicare Part C. They have privatized Medicare plans, which means that your benefits are being managed by the private insurance company you signed up with. Advantage Plans work well for you; however, you must make sure the plan meets three things:

1. The first step in choosing a suitable Medicare plan is making sure that the doctors you visit now and the ones you wish to visit in the future approve the plans you’re looking at.

2. What is your intake of medications?

Many individuals on expensive medications can be better off on a Medicare Advantage plan. But this is not the case every time. It’s something that you must consider.

3. Medicaid

Medicare Advantage Plans could be an excellent option for you if you’re on Medicaid. Medicare plans always seem great because of the perks they offer like; “zero-premium” options, free gym memberships, and extra dental and eyesight coverage. Picking a suitable plan based on these three things is the most expensive mistake people make every single day. Taking advice from peers and family about their plans and how they work for them is the second biggest mistake you can make.

You must remember that the plan you pick in the beginning is the plan you’ll have for the rest of your life, so you must choose wisely. Advantage plans work well for you if it meets the criteria. Be aware not to fall for bogus advertisements or advice from family or friends. It’s essential to make sure that the plan fits your situation because if it does not, this is a mistake you likely cannot make right.

What’s the Enrollment Process for Medicare?

You can automatically enroll in Medicare if you are already getting benefits from the Social Security department, are under the age of 65, if you suffer from special needs, or if you have ALS.

How Long Will It Take To Get Done With the Enrollment Process?

The process of the enrollment depends on the methods you decide to choose. It takes a little to 10 minutes to sign up online, all it takes is a phone or your laptop to get the sign up done. If you prefer to sign up in person, it will wholly depend on how long it takes to get an appointment.