Medicare Part C Cost
The expense of a medical insurance plan is what keeps many people from signing up for the coverage they want. They may desire to have their medical expenses covered and may crave the peace of mind that comes with having powerful insurance benefits, but the cost can prevent them from signing up for the plan that they want. The Medicare Part C cost could be keeping you back from enrolling in a Medicare Part C plan. You might not realize, however, what costs are involved and how affordable these plans can be. Since there isn’t a standard price for Medicare Part C plans, you can find a wide range of quotes for very similar Advantage plans. We’ll show you how you can source and compare those and what you need to do to keep your costs low.
Just How Expensive Is Medicare Part C?
Do you know who much you would have to pay to enroll in a Medicare Part C plan? For the majority of them, you’ll pay about $150 a month. That monthly premium can vary, though, even for very similar Part C plans. You may find Part C plans listed as Medicare Advantage plans, and their prices are all over the place. The prices change every so often as well, usually increasing each year with the rate of inflation. Medicare has designed these plans for seniors, and it provides some oversight on the plans, but it doesn’t set prices for them. Medicare leaves that decision up to the individual insurance providers.
Medicare Part C can be as cheap as $0 a month. That no-premium plan is going to have a larger than normal annual deductible, though, so be aware of that. Not all Medicare Part C plans come with an annual deductible. If you pay a higher premium, you might be able to completely avoid paying that annual deductible.
You may also need to make copayments for various medical services you receive. Visiting the doctor’s office, going to the emergency room and staying at the hospital usually all come with copayments. These tend to be minimal expenses, though.
There may be coinsurance costs to pay as well, and these are required on some durable medical equipment, on hospice care and on nursing care.
Medicare Advantage 2021
Keep Costs Down with the Right Network Option
One way to make Medicare Part C affordable for yourself is to ensure that you have chosen the right kind of plan. We’re not talking about the medical benefits of the plan, because there are different kinds of Advantage plans that offer different kinds of medical coverage. What we want to tell you about for the moment, though, is the network options that you can pick from. You can choose to be fully covered on your insurance company’s network alone, or you could sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that covers you on and off the network. It’s up to you.
HMO Advantage plans give you full coverage on the network. What that means is that you get all the medical benefits promised by your Advantage plan so long as you go for your healthcare services at a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office that has an agreement with your insurance company. Going to a medical facility that doesn’t accept your insurer’s plans is called going off the network. With an HMO plan, you will have to pay full price for all medical care received there.
HMOs are very cheap, compared to the other kinds of Medicare Advantage plans, but they don’t cover you in a lot of places. There are going to be lots of medical facilities that have no agreement with your insurance provider and that are not part of their network. If you want to be covered at these places, then you need to get a PPO plan. This kind of Medicare Advantage plan will cover you fully on the network and then a partially outside of it. It will cost a bit more than the HMO, but that extra coverage can be well worth it.
We would say that anyone who lives in a rural area without any real network coverage would benefit from a PPO plan type. We would also say that those who travel often should consider signing up for an Advantage plan with the PPO network option.
Medicare Advantage 2021
Choose the Most Affordable Coverage Plan
The cost of your Medicare Part C plan will vary based primarily on how much coverage it gives you. There are low coverage and high coverage Part C plans, so the higher your coverage, the more you can expect to pay. That makes sense, and you should look at the cost of the different plans to get an idea as to how much coverage you could afford.
The cheapest one is going to be the basic Medicare Advantage plan. This will cover you for almost all of the Medicare Part A inpatient services (hospital care, nursing facility care, home health care). It covers you for the entirety of the Medicare Part B services (outpatient care, doctor’s office visits, ER visits, some medications). On top of all that, Medicare Part C also covers any leftover emergency medical costs, which can include ambulance care and some ER services, among others. It also covers the cost of any urgently needed care, like medical tests, certain medications, and more.
The basic plan is cheap, but it might not provide you with enough coverage, depending on your health and other factors in your life. The most common kind of Medicare Part C plan is the Medicare Part C plan that includes prescription drug coverage. This isn’t just minimal coverage for some medications; it is the powerful coverage of a full prescription medication plan known as Medicare Part D. This is a plan you could buy on its own, but it also comes bundled with many Part C plans. If you look at the Medicare Part C cost detailed in some quotes, you might wonder why some insurance companies are charging so much for it, but when you look closer, you may find that it includes more than the basic coverage. Part D coverage is very common and will help you to pay for the cost of medications that you need throughout the year.
There is another kind of Medicare Part C plan you could go with as well, and it includes basic coverage and checkup benefits. This can cover you for routine visits to your dentist, taking care of cleanings and x-rays. It can cover annual checkups with your hearing specialist or your general practitioner. It can also cover the cost of eye tests from your optometrist. If your eye doctor decides you need to have a new pair of prescription glasses, then those can be covered as well, along with a new hearing aid. This is ideal coverage for any senior who wants to stay on top of their health and catch health issues before they become serious.
What kind of coverage do you need? Look at what you are paying for out of pocket right now, what you can afford to pay for and how well these various plans can cover you. Once you factor in those various aspects, you will be better informed to make a confident decision that you can feel good about. If you have questions, we can help you. Our team of health insurance experts are ready to handle any queries you might have and help you figure out which plans might be good choices for you.
Medicare Advantage 2021
Compare Quotes from Different Insurance Companies
The Medicare Part C plans we have been telling you about cover the majority of what you will find on the marketplace if you start looking at some quotes. What you will find is that there are a lot of insurance companies are offering these plans at wildly different prices. You might not think there is any difference between the insurance companies other than the price they charge and the number of Part C plans that they offer. There are some important differences between them, though, and we want to point out a few of the major providers that you may come across and show you how they stand out from one another.
Mutual of Omaha
This company has been selling Medicare Advantage plans for a long time, and they actually started selling Medicare plans back when Medicare first began. Mutual of Omaha is known for providing for its customers’ needs and for offering affordable pricing on all of their health insurance plans. They also offer other kinds of insurance, and you may be able to bundle multiple plans together and pay less overall this way.
AARP / United Healthcare
A recent partnership between these two major insurers gives seniors a really good option. They are fairly competitive in their pricing, but what really stands out about this insurer is that they have a huge network and tons of great membership perks to offer. They can give you free gym access, prescription medication drop-off service at your home, financial counselling and so much more.
This insurer is all about the customer convenience. They make it easy to file a health insurance claim and easy to navigate your insurance plan online. Plenty of great online tools and a superb customer service team are standout features that make them worth your consideration.
What Humana does best is to ensure the health of its members. It offers healthy living benefits like personalized dieting and exercise plans. It also offers free gym access for those who sign up for their plans. Their Silver Sneakers program and low prices make them a good choice for any senior who wants value for their money.
Medicare Advantage 2021
How to Deal with Rising Costs
Medicare Part C may be affordable and inexpensive now, but what about in a few years? The prices are going to go up, and you’ll want to use tools like our website and its search engine to find a plan that fits your budget and covers you where you need to be covered. We are here to help you with that and to make the search an easier process for you.
As prices change each year, they may change for those who are enrolled in a Medicare Part C plan. Even after you have agreed to the terms of your plan, your rates may increase. They won’t change right away, because when you agree to the terms of a Medicare Advantage plan, the rates will remain the same for the entire term, which is usually one year. After that initial term, though, you will have the option to renew your coverage. You can change to a different plan at that time if you want, but if you renew, you might pay a higher rate than you did the previous year. It may be in your best interests to reevaluate your Part C coverage and choose a different provider or a different plan.
When You Can Enroll
One way to save money on Part C plans is to enroll at the first opportunity. When you are turning 65, you can sign up for a Medicare Part C plan. It is best to sign up at this time, as you get the chance to pay the lowest possible rates and your preexisting medical conditions cannot be factored into the cost. We urge seniors to look at Medicare Part C at age 65 and see if it is applicable to them. Waiting for afterwards means that you could end up paying a lot more.
It also means that your cover could be denied. You can wait for the annual enrollment period starting on October 15th and finishing on December 7th, but you might not find the Medicare Part C cost to your liking at that point. This is why it benefits you to enroll as soon as you are eligible, so long as you could use the coverage at that time.