Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) – helps to cover what Part A and Part B do not cover. Medicare Advantage Plans are provided by private health insurers like the current HMOs and PPOs.   They must follow rules set by Medicare.  However, each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services.  Some may require a referral and most have restrictions on the network of doctors, facilities or suppliers that belong to the plan.  You must be check to make sure that current doctors and hospitals participant in the plan.  These rules can change each year.  Sometimes a prescription drug coverage plan is included with Medicare Advantage plans.  The Advantage plan will have their own “formulary” of prescription drugs, so it is important to make sure you know what your copay and coinsurance will be for your prescription drugs on an annual basis before you agree to the plan.  There are still copay’s, deductibles and coinsurance for Medicare Advantage plans.  Private insurers contract with and are subsidized by Medicare to provide these plans.  Medicare Advantage plans vary in premium and coverage.  New legislation has been initiated that will decrease the government subsidy to Part C providers over time.  This may result in increased copay’s, deductibles or coinsurance or in higher premiums.