Certain parts of medicare are administered by private insurance companies. These include medicare part C (“medicare advantage”), medicare part D (prescription drug plans), and medicare supplement plans.
Medicare part C, frequently referred to as “medicare advantage”, provides a means for medicare eligible individuals to obtain their hospital and outpatient medical coverage through private insurance companies. This is in contrast with medicare part A and part B, in which such coverage is administered and provided by the federal government.
Medicare advantage plans vary and have different rules, provider networks and out of pocket costs. Some medicare advantage plans include prescription drug coverage while others do not, and the premiums for these plans are typically paid for by medicare. The private insurance companies and the plans which they provide must be approved by and are regulated by the federal government.
Medicare part D includes prescription drug coverage. As discussed previously, some medicare advantage plans include this coverage while others do not. Additionally, medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in part A and part B have the options of purchasing stand alone part D prescription drug coverage.
Medicare supplement plans, frequently referred to as “medigap” plans, are private plans which can be purchased by an individual who is enrolled in medicare part A and part B. These plans provide a means for medicare participants to obtain coverage for deductibles, co-insurance, and other out of pocket costs associated with medicare part A and part B. Like medicare advantage plans, medicare supplement plans are regulated by the federal government.