Part C basics – AARP Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Part C (known as AARP Medicare Advantage plans as well) is a special health plan offered by private vendors who have Medicare approval. Basically, AARP Medicare Advantage plans are preferred by those who cannot obtain the coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B. In addition to that, it can be obtained by those who expect additional coverage or have special needs. 


AARP Medicare Advantage plans are offered by multiple companies. So, the beneficiaries have various choices in terms of coverage, benefits, conditions, and costs. Basically, Medicare Advantage plans comprise most of the benefits offered by other health insurance packages. You can choose Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, Medical Savings Account (MSA), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) etc. 


AARP Medicare Advantage plans are also recognized as “Medicare + Choice”. As we believe, that is a very rational term because it offers various advantages. In general, Medicare Advantage plans cover everything comes under ‘Original Medicare’ except for hospice care. 


In Medicare Advantage plans, they cover all the prescribed medications, eyeglasses, walking aids, hearing aids, etc. Some plans even cover dental care, vision tests etc. More importantly, some advanced plans can cover even health and wellness programs. Generally, many of these plans can cover prescription drug coverage as well. 


When AARP Medicare Advantage plans are combined with private health insurance packages, the coverage can be more sophisticated. In fact, such a combination would be a significantly advanced cover when compared with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). However, the beneficiary will have to bear an increased cost to enroll with those programs which are understandable. 


Since Part C works in collaboration with private vendors, the charges will vary every year. Also, some of the vendors may decide to discontinue their participation in Medicare. If that is the case with you, you should find a different health plan from a different vendor and rejoin it. 


Since Part C must come with the approval of Medicare and they work with both Part A and Part B, there will not be a significant difference when it comes to the eligibility. With only a couple of exceptions, you can join the AARP Medicare Advantage plan even if you have pre-existing conditions. In general, you will be able to join such a plan at a particular time of the year. After the enrolment, you will remain under its cover until the next enrolment period. 


It is true that all those plans come with excellent benefits. The more the benefits are, the costlier they are. If you feel like registering for a Part C plan, make sure that you gather plenty of information first. Then, compare all this information (especially the costs and benefits they offer). Also, don’t go for a particular plan just because it offers the lowest cost. The plans offered by different companies come with different features. Therefore, it is exceptionally important to know what you order. So, read the terms and conditions prior to enrolling with a certain vendor for AARP Medicare Advantage plans.  

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