A Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) is a Medicare plan that is offered by a private insurance company that has been approved by Medicare. Part C is a combination plan that includes both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage, but it is separate from original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans work by combining hospital coverage with regular medical insurance. Policies must cover the same services as Medicare Part A and Part B, with the exception of hospice care. Coverage limits and terms vary based on the provider and the plan chosen.
Consumers may also be limited to certain service providers, and some plans may also require that consumers choose a primary care physician that manages all hospital and specialist visits. While consumers may be limited to service providers within a specific service area, Medicare Advantage Plans must also offer coverage nationwide for emergency care, urgent care and renal dialysis.
Medicare Advantage Plans can also include Medicare Part D coverage, which focuses on prescription drug coverage. Depending on the provider, Part D may be available at no additional cost to the consumer. However, consumers also have the option to purchase Medicare Advantage plans that do not include Part D coverage.