Medicare Blog

how to enroll in medicare part c

by Dr. Eileen Maggio Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago

How to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan

  • Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B first.
  • Find insurance providers who offer Medicare Advantage plans in your area.
  • Learn more about the plans available in your area by exploring them online or calling the provider directly.
  • Find the plan that has the health care benefits you want and enroll with the plan provider—via phone, online or with an agent.

Full Answer

How to enrol and get started in Medicare?

Who Can Enroll in Medicare Part C? You can generally join a Medicare Advantage Plan if you meet these conditions: You have Part A and Part B. You live in the service area of the plan. Contact the plans you’re interested in to find out about the service area.

Do I need Part C of Medicare?

The ICEP for those who enroll in Medicare after first becoming eligible begins three months before the Part B effective date. The next opportunity to enroll in Part C is during the Annual Enrollment Period, which occurs between October 15 and December 7. Every year, you can also use this opportunity to change Advantage plans if you wish to do so.

When to apply for and enroll in Medicare?

If you’ve already done this, it’s easy to sign up for Part C and Part D. You can go to your local Social Security office to sign up, or you can save a lot of time by enrolling online here in a matter of minutes. If you’re newly eligible for Medicare, you can sign up for Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D during your Initial Enrollment Period.

What do you need to know about Medicare Part C?

Nov 18, 2021 · Find a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan today. Apply online on the Social Security website. Visit your local Social Security office. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772. Complete an ...


Can you add Medicare Part C at any time?

It runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. You can add, change, or drop Medicare Advantage plans during the AEP, and your new coverage starts on January 1 of the following year.

Are you automatically enrolled in Medicare Part C?

You are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and C) if you are actively receiving Social Security benefits when you become eligible. This occurs when you turn 65 years old or have a qualifying disability and have been on Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) for 24 months.

Can Medicare Part C be free?

Some Medicare Part C plans are “free,” meaning they don't have a monthly premium. Even with a zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan, you may still owe the Part B premium. Deductibles. Most Medicare Part C plans have both a plan deductible and a drug deductible.

What is Medicare Part C called?

Medicare Advantage PlansMedicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare.

At what age will a person normally enroll with an insurance carrier under a Part C Medicare Advantage plan?

People can enroll in Original Medicare if they are 65 years of age or older and are a citizen of the United States or have been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years. Specific rules apply to those younger than 65 who have certain illnesses or disabilities. Read more about eligibility under the age of 65 here.May 11, 2020

How much does Part C Medicare cost?

While the average cost for Medicare Part C is $25 per month, it's possible to get a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly premium. In fact, according to Kaiser Family Foundation, 60 percent of Medicare Advantage plan enrollees pay no premium for their plan, other than their Medicare Part B premium.Sep 30, 2021

What are the best Medicare Part C plans?

Medicare Part C plansProviderRatingHighlightsKaiser Permanente5.0Top-rated plans Limited availabilityAARP/ UnitedHealthcare4.2Large network of providers Includes great add-onsCigna4.2Strong customer satisfaction Limited network of providersHumana4.0Widely available High rate of complaints2 more rows•Jan 24, 2022

What is the difference between Medicare Part C and Part D?

Medicare part C is called "Medicare Advantage" and gives you additional coverage. Part D gives you prescription drug coverage.

Is Medicare Part C the same as supplemental insurance?

These are also called Part C plans. Medicare Supplement insurance policies, also called Medigap, help pay the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and B). It is not part of the government's Medicare program, but provides coverage in addition to it.Oct 1, 2021

How does Medicare Part C works?

Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is a type of Medicare plan that uses private health insurance to cover all the services you'd receive under Medicare Parts A and B. Anyone who is eligible for original Medicare Parts A and B is eligible for the Medicare Advantage programs in their area.

What are the 4 types of Medicare?

There are four parts of Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.Part A provides inpatient/hospital coverage.Part B provides outpatient/medical coverage.Part C offers an alternate way to receive your Medicare benefits (see below for more information).Part D provides prescription drug coverage.

What is the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part C?

A Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by private companies approved by Medicare.

When does Medicare enrollment end?

If, like most Americans, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65.

Is Medicare Part A or B?

Although Medicare enrollment always begins with Medicare Part A (hospital) and Medicare Part B (medical), further coverage under Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D are essential to the security and peace of mind of many Americans.

How do I sign up for Medicare Part A?

If you need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, you can do so in one of four ways: Apply online on the Social Security website. Visit your local Social Security office. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.

When does Medicare open enrollment end?

- Sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage plans (aka Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP) Starts October 15. Ends December 7. - Sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan.

How long do you have to be on Medicare before you can get a disability?

If you become eligible for Medicare before 65 due to a qualifying disability, you may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan after you have been getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for 21 full months. After that point, you have 7 full months to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

How long do you have to be on Medicare Advantage?

After that point, you have 7 full months to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your coverage will begin on your 25th month of receiving disability benefits. If you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), you are eligible for Medicare the first month you receive your disability benefits.

How many types of Medicare Advantage Plans are there?

The availability of Medicare Advantage plans in your area will vary and is subject to how many insurance companies offer plans where you live. There are five primary types of Medicare Advantage plans that are the most prevalent, and the availability of each type of plan will also vary based on your location.

What are the factors that affect Medicare Advantage?

Several factors can affect your Medicare Advantage plan costs, such as: Whether your plan offers $0 monthly premiums. The drug deductible included in your plan, if your plan offers prescription drug coverage. Any network restrictions your plan may include regarding approved providers who are in your plan network.

What are the benefits of Medicare Advantage?

Some of the potential benefits offered by a Medicare Advantage plan can include coverage for: Dental care. Vision care.

How to apply for medicare?

There are several options for enrolling in Medicare, but it essentially comes down to your preference. You can: 1 Apply online. Visit the Social Security website online to fill out an electronic application. You may need to provide additional documents, such as income-related information, but the administration will contact you if it needs anything else. There aren’t any forms to sign, and the process should take about 10 minutes to complete. 2 Visit a Social Security office. You might prefer to speak with a real person. In that case, visit a local office. You’ll likely need to make an appointment ahead of time. An agent can answer questions in real time and help you fill out the application correctly. 3 Make a phone call. Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213. Railroad retirees should call (877) 772-5772.

When is Medicare open enrollment?

Medicare Open Enrollment. Medicare Open Enrollment runs annually from October 15 through December 7. It’s the period each year when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. During the open enrollment period (which might be abbreviated to OEP), you can: Change from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage;

What are the changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D?

Some of the guidelines, such as policy changes concerning supplemental benefits, tightening of regulations concerning opioids and support for longer duration of physical therapy, will affect consumers directly. Other, more complex changes in the way Medicare reimburses providers and ranks insurers may have significant long-term effects.

How long does an IEP last?

The initial enrollment period (IEP) starts three months before you turn 65 and runs for three months after, for a total of seven months, including your birthday month. For example, if your birthday is July 4, your IEP runs from April 1 through October 31. During this time, you can consider your options, weigh the pros and cons ...

How long is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?

Drop your Part D coverage altogether. There’s also a six-week period called the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period.

What are the parts of Medicare Advantage?

There are four parts: A (hospital coverage), B (medical coverage), C (Advantage) and D (prescription drugs). Medicare Advantage (Part C) is the private option, but it follows similar enrollment procedures in terms of when you can sign up and restrictions on getting a policy. The federal and private portions of Medicare differ in what they offer ...

What is the most significant change in Medicare?

Perhaps the most significant change that Medicare is undergoing is philosophical, shifting from reimbursement rates based primarily on cost to using complex metrics to evaluate outcomes. Along with routine annual adjustments of a few percentage points to reimbursement rates for thousands of individual treatments, overall reimbursement rate-setting philosophy has a significant effect on the cost of medical care.

How many enrollment periods are there for Medicare Advantage?

There are 2 separate enrollment periods each year. See the chart below for specific dates.

What are the special enrollment periods?

When certain events happen in your life, like if you move or lose other insurance coverage, you may be able to make changes to your Medicare health and drug coverage. These chances to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods. Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each Special Enrollment Period.

What is the late enrollment penalty for Medicare?

The late enrollment penalty is an amount that’s permanently added to your Medicare drug coverage (Part D) premium. You may owe a late enrollment penalty if at any time after your Initial Enrollment Period is over, there’s a period of 63 or more days in a row when you don’t have Medicare drug coverage or other creditable prescription drug coverage. Creditable prescription drug coverage is coverage (for example, from an employer or union) that’s expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage. If you have a penalty, you’ll generally have to pay it for as long as you have Medicare drug coverage. For more information about the late enrollment penalty, visit, or call 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1‑800‑633‑4227). TTY users can call 1‑877‑486‑2048.

What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C, which is also called Medicare Advantage, is a combination of A and B with various extras depending on plan type. Part C is sold through private companies, but it’s also partially sponsored by the government.

What are the added costs of Medicare Part C?

The added costs of Medicare Part C are in proportion to the extras that you receive for a private health insurance plan. Most plans include prescription drug coverage, vision and dental, as well as wellness programs and hearing care.

How much is Medicare Part B 2020?

Medicare Part B has a standard monthly premium of $144.60 for new enrollees in 2020, with a yearly deductible of $198. These amounts increase to $148.50 and $203, respectively, in 2021.

How much does Medicare Advantage cost in 2021?

With Medicare Advantage, you pay a Part B premium and a premium for your Medicare Advantage plan. Premiums for Medicare Advantage average less than $30 in 2021. And as we said earlier, there are Medicare Advantage with zero dollar premiums, meaning you’ll pay nothing on top of your Part B premium for this coverage.

What changes did the Affordable Care Act make to Medicare?

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act changed the healthcare system in America and also changed small parts of Medicare. The only real change that most people noticed is that now Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans must include preventive care and cannot reject anyone for pre-existing conditions.

How long do you have to be in Medicare for the first time?

Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time. During the 7-month period surrounding your 65 th birthday (three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after you turn 65) Under 65 and disabled. Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time.

Which is better, Medicare Part D or Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part C is one of the better plans to go with if you’re in need of healthcare and want a more affordable, government-sponsored option that provides more than what Original Medicare offers. There are various plans that qualify as Medicare Advantage.

Check when to sign up

Answer a few questions to find out when you can sign up for Part A and Part B based on your situation.

When coverage starts

The date your Part A and Part B coverage will start depends on when you sign up.

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