Part C plans are also known as Medicare Advantage Plans. If you join one of these plans, you generally get all Medicare-covered health care through a private health plan. These plans are HMO and PPO managed care plans. In many Advantage Plans, there are extra value added benefits and lower copays than in original Medicare. Furthermore, an Advantage Plan limits your maximum out of pocket maximum cost per year versus Parts A & B, which do not have a maximum out of pocket limit.
To enroll in an Advantage plan, you must have Medicare Parts A & B. You will pay the normal premiums for Part A and B. In addition, there may be a premium that you will pay for the Advantage Plan depending on the plan’s level of coverage. If you join an Advantage Plan you will pay for care under the plan’s fee schedule, which is at least as comprehensive as Parts A & B.