You have options when choosing your Medicare benefit coverage.
In general, you can choose between these two options:
- Original Medicare
- Medicare Advantage
Let’s explore your options in more detail.
Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage
For your Medicare benefit, you can choose original Medicare. This option provides you with:
- In-patient care (Medicare Part A)
- Outpatient care (Medicare Part B)
With original Medicare, you can also purchase:
- Prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. This coverage is optional and has an additional premium. Late enrollment penalties may apply if you don’t get coverage when you are first eligible
- Medicare supplement insurance (or Medigap) to help cover additional expenses. This coverage is optional and also has an additional premium. Plans are standardized across most states. The only difference with a plan G between different carriers is the premium. The coverage is the same.
Or, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan which includes:
- All Medicare Part A and Part B covered benefits. Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover Medicare Part D
Both options provide you with basic in-patient and outpatient care. They both can provide you with prescription drug coverage.
Original Medicare is provided by the federal government, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that have a contract with the federal government to provide your Medicare benefits to you. Medicare Advantage plans are paid by the Federal Government per member per month for your care. The amount the plans receive is based upon the county you live in so benefits can change drastically from one county to another.
If you choose original Medicare, there is no limit to your out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Supplement plans can minimize those expenses. With Medicare Advantage, there is a defined maximum out-of-pocket expense each calendar year.
Medicare Advantage Features
Medicare Advantage was created to allow people to choose a more customized health insurance. It’s a program that allow private insurance companies to offer their own version of Medicare insurance.
Each Medicare Advantage plan has its own range of services and features so you can choose a plan that is right for your lifestyle, your health, and your budget.
All Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to provide you with at least the same coverage you would get with original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans offer you additional services that are not available with original Medicare. So if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you are guaranteed to receive at least the same coverage as original Medicare. And based on the plan you choose, you might have other services such as:
- Vision care
- Hearing care
- Dental care
- Prescription drug coverage
Now that we’ve explained your Medicare options, let’s take a close look at Medicare Part A