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Figuring out which Medicare Plan best suits your needs can be challenging if you don't know your options. When you have the facts, you can easily compare Medicare Plans and make an educated decision that will be best for you.
There are two decisions to make when you compare Medicare plans - Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plan. Let's compare the two Medicare plans.
The Original Medicare option includes Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance) and the option of Part D (prescription drug coverage). A monthly cost is charged to you for the premiums and you get to choose the provider – hospital or doctor.
If you opt for Medicare Part D, you have to choose a Medicare approved private insurance company to become a member of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
You may also choose to purchase Medigap – Medicare Supplement Insurance - to cover the ‘gaps' of fees that the Original Medicare doesn't cover.
When we compare Medicare plans, we see that the Medicare Advantage Plan is like an HMO or PPO and includes both Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).
Coverage is provided by Medicare approved insurance companies and you must use doctors and hospitals in the plan for services.
Monthly premiums are required in addition to your Part B premiums. If prescription drug coverage is offered by your plan you must use this option. If not, you have the option of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
When you compare Medicare plans and choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won't need to worry about getting a Medigap policy and you if you have one, you may want to cancel it because you can't use it to pay for out-of-pocket expenses with the Medicare Advantage Plan.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|