What Are Medicare Parts C and D?


Quick Answer

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, consists of plans offered by private insurance companies that include all the benefits of traditional Medicare Parts A and B as well as additional benefits, reports Medicare.gov. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage by Medicare-approved private companies.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Although Medicare Part C plans vary in their extra services, they must provide Medicare Part A hospital insurance and Medicare Part B medical insurance, according to Medicare.gov. They usually also include prescription drug coverage, so that those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans do not need to obtain extra Medicare Part D coverage. Other services that Medicare Part C plans often provide include hearing, vision, dental, and health and wellness programs. Medicare Advantage plans often charge higher premiums and have different guidelines than traditional Medicare for out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. Additionally, some require patients to visit health care providers within their network for medical needs that are not emergencies.

Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have lists of the drugs they cover called formularies, states Medicare.gov. They also usually divide drugs into tiers based on their cost, with lower-tier generic drugs costing less and higher-tier name brand drugs costing more. Medicare Part D plans often require patients to go to pharmacies within the plan's network and have extra costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and coverage gap payments.

Learn more about Health Insurance

Related Questions