What Are Your Medicare Coverage Choices?
Updated: Dec 6, 2019
As you approach age 65, you're probably aware that you need to make some decisions regarding your healthcare coverage. You might be familiar with the basics of Medicare. Maybe you've heard of Medigap, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare Advantage. But how do they all relate? What choices do you actually have to make?
We'll help you with this step-by-step guide to your Medicare coverage choices.
Decide How You Want to Get Your Medicare Coverage
There are two ways to get Medicare coverage: (1) Original Medicare or (2) Medicare Advantage. Deciding between these two types of Medicare coverage is your first step. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are mutually exclusive - you don't choose both.
We'll break up your next set of choices based on whether your first choice was Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
If You Choose Original Medicare:
Ok, so you've opted to sign up for Original Medicare. Your coverage includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).
Next you'll need to make two more decisions. First, decide whether or not you want Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage). Second, decide whether or not you want to add supplemental coverage. This supplemental coverage goes by two names: Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medigap (they're different names for the exact same thing).
If You Choose Medicare Advantage:
If you opt for Medicare Advantage rather than Original Medicare, you'll be part of a network of providers (usually an HMO or PPO). To make things slightly more confusing, Medicare Advantage is sometimes called Medicare Part C.
After choosing Medicare Advantage, you've got one more decision to make: do you want Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)? Some Medicare Advantage plans will already have Part D included, but if it's not, you may be able to add it. If you've chosen Medicare Advantage you do not choose whether you want Medicare Supplement Insurance. You cannot have both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
The prices for these different coverages vary based on factors such as age, location, etc., so if you'd like a free quote to compare prices, we can provide you one at no obligation. Our licensed professionals can also walk you through your choices and help you make an informed decision.