There Are Choices for Medicare Coverage

Original and advantage plans help steer you to the best option


There are two main choices for how you get your Medicare coverage. Use these steps to help you decide:

First, decide if you want original medicare or a medicare advantage plan.

Original Medicare Medicare advantage plan (like an HMO or PPO)
Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) Part C (includes both Part A and Part B)
  • Medicare provides this coverage
  • You have your choice of doctors, hospitals and other providers that accept Medicare
  • Generally, you or your supplemental coverage pay deductibles and coinsurance
  • You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B
  • Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide this coverage.
  • In most plans, you need to use plan doctors, hospitals, and other providers or you pay more or all of the costs.
  • You usually pay a monthly premium (in addition to your Part B premium) and a copayment or coinsurance for covered services.
  • Costs, extra coverage, and rules vary by plan.
Decide if you want prescription drug coverage (Part D) Decide if you want prescription drug coverage (Part D)
  • If you want this coverage, you must choose and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You usually pay a monthly premium.
  • These plans are run by private companies approved by Medicare.
  • If you want prescription drug coverage, and it's offered by your plan, in most cases you must get it through your plan.
  • In some types of plans that don't offer drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Decide if you want supplemental coverage Continue below
  • You may want to get coverage that fills gaps in Original Medicare coverage. You can choose to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private company.
  • Costs vary by policy and company.
  • Employers/unions may offer similar coverage.
Note: If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can't use Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) to pay for out-of-pocket costs you have in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can't be sold a Medigap policy.

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