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Medicare Part C are HMO or PPO plans, so while it covers Parts A and B, these options have additional restrictions and benefits.

Federal law says that Medicare Advantage Plans must be as good or better than Original Medicare plans. Once enrolled, Part C will pay in place of Parts A and B. The big distinction comes in the form of eligibility to enroll in a standalone prescription plan (Part D), and you will not be eligible for Supplement Plans (MediGap). This is largely due to the rules private insurers must adhere to set by the Medicare federal program.

If you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan like Medicare Part C, there are pros and cons you will need to considering. For instance, you might be limited to particular doctors or hospitals that are part of your private insurance company’s network, or you may be responsible for paying co-payments or co-insurance. The flip side, however, is that Medicare Advantage Plans also usually include extra benefits, like comprehensive vision or dental coverage, and some include varying levels of drug coverage, potentially reducing your out-of-pocket expenses even further.

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