Medigap Plan C – Is it worth it?

Navigating the world of Medicare can be a daunting task with its various parts and plans. One common area of confusion is between Medigap Plan C and Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage. This article aims to dispel the confusion, delve into the specifics of Medigap Plan C, and help you make informed healthcare decisions.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. It consists of different parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), and Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage).


What is Medigap?

Medigap, or Medicare Supplement Insurance, is insurance sold by private companies to help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. There are several standardized Medigap plans, each labeled with a letter.


Medigap Plan C Explained

Medigap Plan C is one of the Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. It covers:

  • Part A hospital and coinsurance costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • The first three pints of blood for a medical procedure
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles
  • 80% of foreign travel emergency care (up to plan limits)
  • Medigap Plan C vs. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

It’s crucial to understand that Medigap Plan C is not the same as Medicare Part C.


Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Medicare Advantage is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually prescription drug coverage (Part D). Most plans offer extra benefits such as dental, hearing, and vision coverage.


The Showdown: Medigap Plan C vs. Medicare Part C

FeatureMedigap Plan C: The Supplemental GuardianMedicare Part C: The All-in-One Powerhouse
CoverageShields you from out-of-pocket costs like copayments and deductibles of Original MedicareReplaces Original Medicare with a feature-packed combo of Part A, Part B, and usually Part D
Network Restrictions Roam free! No network restrictions as long as the provider accepts MedicareStay within bounds! Usually has network restrictions
Additional Benefits (dental, vision, hearing)NoneComes with perks! Often includes dental, vision, and hearing
Out-of-Pocket CostsLowerPotentially higher
PremiumsGenerally higherGenerally lower


How Does Medigap Plan C Stack Up Against Other Medigap Plans?

FeaturePlan CPlan APlan BPlan GPlan N
Part A Coinsurance & hospital costs
Part B coinsurance or copayment
Blood (first 3 pints)
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance  
Medicare Part A deductible  
Medicare Part B deductible    
Medicare Part B excess charges    
Foreign travel emergency  



Q: Can I have both Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage?
A: No, you cannot have both. You must choose either Medigap Plan C to supplement Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage as an all-in-one alternative.

Q: Is Medigap Plan C the best option for me?
A: It depends on your healthcare needs and budget. Consult an independent broker for personalized advice.

Q: Can I switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap Plan C?
A: Yes, but there may be restrictions and waiting periods. It’s best to consult an expert for guidance.


The Importance of Choice

Choosing between Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage should be based on your healthcare needs, lifestyle, and budget. Consider factors such as how often you visit the doctor, whether you travel frequently, and how much you are willing to pay in premiums.


Expert Consultation

Navigating Medicare alone can be overwhelming. Independent brokers are available and free to work with. They can provide unbiased advice and help you compare options.


Additional Resources – The official U.S. government site for Medicare.



Understanding the differences between Medigap Plan C and Medicare Part C is essential in making informed healthcare decisions. While Medigap Plan C offers supplemental coverage for out-of-pocket costs, Medicare Advantage provides all-in-one coverage with additional benefits. Consulting an independent broker can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of Medicare and choosing the plan that best suits your needs.