Whether you’re already enrolled in Medicare or your Medicare eligibility is approaching quickly, you’ll want to be prepared to shop for a new plan. If you want to stick with Original Medicare, then you probably won’t have to worry too much about finding a plan. You can just continue with what you have or what you will have once you’re automatically enrolled. However, if you require greater coverage or want a Medicare plan that fits your specific needs, then you’ll want to know the steps to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan.

Before we explain how you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, we should probably answer a few common questions. First of all, what is Medicare Advantage? How does it differ from Original Medicare? Finally, what kinds of plans are available through Medicare Advantage?

What Is Medicare Advantage and How Does It Differ From Original Medicare?

Medicare Advantage is a privately-brokered health care plan that offers the same benefits as Medicare Parts A and B. However, Medicare Advantage plans differ from Original Medicare in a few important ways. Depending on which type of plan you choose, you may have to pay different amounts for your deductibles, premiums, or even certain medical procedures. Additionally, most Medicare Advantage plans come with additional coverage like Part D prescription drug coverage, as well as dental, vision, and hearing coverage.

What Plans Are Available Through Medicare Advantage?

Fortunately, you have several options to choose from with Medicare Advantage. Additionally, you have the freedom to choose from hundreds of private insurance brokers. In any case, let’s take a look at some of the most common and popular Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – HMO costs are relatively low as long as you use doctors and facilities are in your plan’s network.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – PPO provides coverage for out-of-network medical care. Most HMO and PPO plans also provide Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • Special Needs Plan (SNP) – SNP is designed for people with certain conditions or disabilities. You’ll need to make sure that your condition qualifies for an SNP plan before making a purchase.
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA) – MSA high-deductible plans come with a savings account. Your provider automatically puts a set amount into your savings account so that, with time, you’ll have funds ready when you do need medical treatment in the future.

While these are not the only Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans available, they are some of the most popular. So, now that you know a little more about Medicare Advantage, let’s see how to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan!

How to Enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan

  • Step 1: Know your enrollment dates. As long as you’re eligible for Medicare, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Medicare Enrollment Period (begins 3 months prior to your 65th birthday and ends three months after), the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15th – December 7th), or the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1st – March 31st).
  • Step 2: Research the best plan for you. Evaluate your budget and the benefits provided by each plan. If you end up getting a plan that you don’t like, remember that you can always change it during one of the enrollment periods listed above.
  • Step 3: Reach out to a Medicare Advantage licensed partnered agent. Reaching out to a private broker is the most important step, as they will help you with the signup and payment process. You have thousands of options to choose from, but feel free to contact Time for 65 for more information.
The Bottom Line

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are great alternatives to Original Medicare. Not only can you get more coverage and benefits, but you might even find a plan that costs less! In any case, be sure to do your research before making any major changes to your healthcare.

If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, contact Time for 65’s licensed partnered agents today. Fill out this form or give us a call today to see how we can help.