Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative way to receive your Medicare benefits from private insurers. On average, enrolling in Medicare Part C costs between $0 to $50 per month in premiums. However, costs can vary significantly depending on the specific Medicare Advantage Plan you select.
Understanding the average costs of Part C can help you budget for health expenses in retirement. Here’s what to know about Medicare Part C Plan costs and premiums for 2023.
What Does Medicare Part C Cover?
Medicare Part C offers an alternate way to receive your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare.
All Medicare Advantage Plans must cover the same services as Original Medicare, including:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Outpatient services
- Doctor visits
- Preventive services
- Durable medical equipment
- Emergency care
In addition, most Medicare Part C plans include prescription drug coverage. Some plans also offer extra benefits like vision, hearing, dental, and wellness programs not covered by Original Medicare.
When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still need to remain enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. The plan replaces just your Part A and Part B coverage.
What are the Costs for Medicare Advantage Plan?
The costs for Medicare Part C plans can include:
- Monthly premium – Most plans charge a premium in addition to your Part B premium. Zero premium plans are available.
- Copays or coinsurance – The amount you pay for covered services. Copays are fixed dollar amounts, while coinsurance is a percentage.
- Deductible – The amount you must pay out-of-pocket before coverage kicks in. Many Medicare Advantage Plans have $0 deductibles.
- Out-of-pocket max – The most you’ll pay for covered services in a year. Once reached, the plan covers 100% of costs. The max for 2023 is $8,300.
- Prescription drugs – Varies based on the medications and tier system of the Part D coverage. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include built-in Part D.
Costs vary significantly between Medicare Advantage Plans based on coverage details, benefits, and insurance providers. Shop carefully to find a plan that meets your needs and budget.
What is the Average Cost of Medicare Part C Premium in 2023?
According to Medicare.gov data, the average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage Plans in 2023 is $18. That is in addition to the standard monthly Part B premium of $164.90.
Premiums range from $0 per month for many zero premium plans to over $100 per month for plans with extra benefits and costs.
The average out-of-pocket spending limit for Medicare Advantage in 2023 is around $5,100. Plans with lower out-of-pocket limits may have higher monthly premiums.
Deductibles and copays/coinsurance also vary significantly between Medicare Part C plans. These costs for services need to be reviewed carefully when comparing plan options.
So while $0 to $50 per month is the typical premium range, there can be thousands per year in total plan costs depending on your healthcare usage.
Factors That Impact Medicare Part C Plan Costs
Several key factors impact how much you will pay in total costs for your Medicare Advantage Plan. These include:
- Location – Plans vary by region and county.
- Medical needs – Costs differ if you are generally healthy vs. have complex conditions.
- Prescription drugs – Insulin, cancer medications, etc. have higher costs.
- Provider access – HMO vs PPO networks impact costs and flexibility.
- Benefits – Some plans offer extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare.
- Brand – Big insurers and regional firms have varying costs.
Medicare Advantage Plans can also change benefits, networks, drug formularies, and costs each year. Review your coverage annually to ensure it still fits your situation.
Shopping carefully for both premium costs and out-of-pocket spending limits can help you find affordable Medicare Part C coverage. Weigh premiums vs. total yearly costs before Medicare enrollment.
Enrolling in Medicare Part C
You can sign up for Medicare Advantage during your Initial Enrollment Period when first eligible for Medicare:
- Begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month
- Includes the birth month
- Ends 3 months after your birth month
You can also enroll during the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15 to December 7 each year. Your coverage would then start on January 1.
And most Medicare Advantage Plans allow members to change plans or switch back to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31.
Research costs, coverage, and quality ratings thoroughly before picking a plan. Medicare Part C offers an affordable alternative for Medicare benefits if you find the right plan.
We’re Here to Help
You do not have to spend hours reading articles on the internet to get answers to your Medicare questions. Give the licensed insurance agents at Glidden Group a Call at (208) 962-0077. You will get the answers you seek in a matter of minutes, with no pressure and no sales pitch. We are truly here to help.
How much is the Medicare Part B premium in 2023?
The standard Medicare Part B premium is $164.90 per month in 2023 for those enrolled in Original Medicare parts A and B.
What does Medicare Part C cover?
Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, covers all the benefits of Original Medicare Parts A and B. Many plans may also include prescription drug coverage.
What are the different types of Medicare Plans?
The main types are Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.
How much does Medicare Part A cost?
Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A since they paid Medicare taxes while working. The Part A deductible in 2023 is $1,600 per benefit period.
What do Medicare Advantage Plans cost?
Costs vary by plan but average around $20-100 per month. Many offer $0 premium plans and have limits on out-of-pocket spending.
How do I choose a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Compare costs, coverage, and quality ratings to find the best plan for your needs and budget. Look for plans in your area that cover your doctors and prescriptions.
What if I can’t afford Medicare premiums?
Medicare Savings Programs can pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and costs if you meet income and asset requirements.
Does Original Medicare cover prescription drugs?
No, you need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D Plan for prescription drug covered by Medicare.
What expenses do Medicare Supplement Plans cover?
Medigap Plans help pay costs in Original Medicare like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, which are not fully covered.
Are there any $0 premium Medicare Advantage Plans?
Yes, many Medicare Advantage Plans are available with no monthly premium beyond the Part B premium. Compare options carefully.