What are my Medicare coverage choices?

There are 2 main choices for how you get your Medicare coverage.
Use these steps to help you decide.

STEP 1

Decide if you want Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Original Medicare

Includes Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Medicare provides this coverage directly.
  • 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. See pages 75–82 of the official US government Medicare handbook.

Medicare Advantage

(Part C) includes BOTH Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance)

  • Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide this coverage.
  • In most plans, you need to use plan doctors, hospitals, and other providers or you may pay more or all of the costs.
  • You may pay a monthly premium (in addition to your Part B premium), deductible, copayments, or coinsurance for covered services.
  • Costs, extra coverage, and rules vary by plan. See pages 83–98 of the official US government Medicare handbook.

STEP 2

Decide if you want prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Original Medicare

  • If you want drug coverage, you must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You usually pay a monthly premium.
  • These plans are run by private companies approved by Medicare. See pages 105–118 of the official US government Medicare handbook.

STEP 3

Decide if you want supplemental coverage.

Original Medicare

  • 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. See pages 99–104 of the official US government Medicare handbook.

Medicare Advantage

  • If you want drug coverage, and it’s offered by your Medicare Advantage 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. See page 105 of the official US Government Medicare handbook.

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 the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can’t be sold a Medigap policy. You can generally only use a Medigap policy if you disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. See page 103 of the official US government Medicare handbook.

The above information is from the official US government Medicare handbook (pg. 17)