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Medicare Part C Advantage Plans
A Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. Depending on where you live the premium could be as low as $0 for an HMO Advantage Plan.
You can buy a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) if you; are enrolled in Parts A and B, live in the plan’s service area, and do not have end-stage renal disease (some exceptions apply)
Combines Parts A and B offers maximum out-of-pocket for medical expenses and may even offer prescription drug coverage. It can include additional benefits, over-the-counter items, eye care, hearing, Silver Sneakers, tele-doctor.
Initial Enrollment Period is 7 months. It starts 3 months before your 65th birthday month, your birthday month and 3 months after your birthday month. During that period you can sign up for an Advantage plan and or Part D plan.
General Enrollment Period starts January 1 ends March 31. You can sign up for Part A & B if you did not sign up when first eligible, and you’re not in an eligible special enrollment period.
Open Enrollment Period starts October 15 and ends December 7. During this period you can sign up for a plan, switch plans or leave a plan.
Special Enrollment Period depends on your situation (such as moving out of the service area). During this period you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan and Medicare Prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period starts January 1 ends March 31. During this period you can switch Medicare Advantage Plans or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan.