Medicare Part C Definition

If it’s time to enroll in Medicare, you might be wondering about Medicare Part C and its definition. Medicare Part C — also called Medicare Advantage — is a collection of health insurance plans offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. These plans offer the same benefits as Original Medicare, but may additional ones as well.

Man outside in nature

What does Medicare Part C cover?

Because Medicare Part C plans are offered by private insurance companies, benefits can vary. While they are required to offer the same benefits as Part A and Part B,** the plans may include additional benefits, such as:

  • Prescription drug benefits
  • Vision benefits
  • Hearing benefits
  • Dental benefits
  • Health and wellness benefits

Who is eligible for Medicare Part C?

In order to be eligible for Medicare Part C, you must: 

  • Be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
  • Live in the service area of a Medicare Advantage insurance provider that is accepting new beneficiaries during your application period
  • Not have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), in most cases

Note: You cannot have Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) at the same time.

Enrolling in Medicare Part C

If you’re considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to compare options in your area. The costs associated with each plan can vary. You’ll want to shop around before making a final decision.

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**Medicare Part A still covers hospice care, even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.