Medicare Part C Supplement Plans

Many seniors have questions about Medicare Part C supplemental insurance plans. Here are some answers to some of their most frequently asked questions about Medicare C that can help readers learn more about these supplemental insurance policies.

Q: Who sells these policies to consumers?
A: Private insurance agencies who have been approved by Medicare to provide coverage sell these policies.

Q: What are Medicare part C supplement plans?
A: Medicare Part C supplement plans are privately issued insurance policies that offer most of the same Medicare benefits that traditional Medicare coverage offers. They also offer additional benefits that offer coverage for medical supplies or services that Medicare may not cover.

Q: What does a Medicare part C supplement plan cover?
A: Medicare Part C supplement plans provide most of the same benefits that Medicare parts A and B offer. As a result, Medicare Part C plans will cover such medical services as emergency hospital services, urgent care services, most doctor's visits and in-patient rehabilitation services.

Furthermore, the plans also provide supplemental coverage for various medical services that Medicare parts A and B may not cover. For example, several Medicare Part C supplement offer coverage for prescription drugs and coverage for hearing services. Other Medicare Part C plans offer coverage for dental or wellness programs that may not be covered by Medicare parts A or B.

Q: What types of Medicare Part C supplement plans are available?
A: There are many types of Medicare Part C plans available. Here is a brief look at two of the most popular Part C plans available.

--HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans are immensely popular with budget-conscious consumers. These plans offer managed care options that require doctors and patients to follow a set of rules that dictate how services are provided. These plans are popular because they are offer cheaper premiums. However, most patients must be careful to follow the HMO's guidelines to keep their costs manageable.

--PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans are also popular with many consumers. These plans offer consumers a network of hospitals, doctors and pharmacies who work together to offer services on a contract basis to policyholders.

Q: How much do policyholders pay when they use Medicare Part C supplement plans?
A: The amount policyholders pay depends on the type of plan they choose. For example, some Medicare Part C supplement plans charge a monthly premium. Others might charge a yearly deductible or a co-pay that policyholders pay before they use the coverage.

Q: May consumers who have preexisting medical conditions purchase Part C Medicare policies?
A: Generally speaking, consumers who have preexisting medical conditions can purchase most Part C Medicare policies. However, consumers who suffer from end-stage renal disease may not purchase the policies because Medicare Parts A and B provide coverage for people who suffer from this disease.

Q: When can consumers enroll for Part C Medicare coverage?
A: Most plan providers set aside certain times of the year to sign up for coverage that coincide with Medicare enrollment periods. For example, HMO plans might open enrollment in January or March to coincide with Medicare’s Part A enrollment period.

Q: Finally, how can consumers enroll for coverage?
A: Consumers can enroll for coverage online or by sending in an application in the mail. They may also enroll by visiting a local insurance underwriter who offers the plans.