Medicare Coverages & Options

The myriad of Medicare options available can make navigating the system quite tricky, which is why doing your homework first is essential to finding the right choice for you. In order to help you make the best decision, this article will outline Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplemental, three types of Medicare coverage that each come with their own advantages. The goal of the information provided is to help you to focus your research on only those plans that are most likely to benefit you and your long-term healthcare needs.

Original Medicare

This type of Medicare insurance comes directly from Medicare itself and provides both Part A coverage, which consists of hospital insurance, and Part B coverage, which offers medical insurance. With Original Medicare, as long as the provider accepts Medicare insurance, the participant can select which hospitals and doctors they wish to use. In order to maintain Part B of Original Medicare coverage, the insured will typically be required to pay a premium each month, the amount of which can vary depending upon your income. Once you've purchased Original Medicare, you can then add on additional supplemental coverage if needed, including Part D Medicare insurance. This can be done each year during the designated Medicare open enrollment period.

Medicare Advantage

This type of Medicare insurance utilizes private insurance companies in order to provide the insured with the additional coverage they require. Medicare Advantage is far more flexible than Original Medicare, in that it gives the individual a greater variety of doctors and providers to choose from. It's important to keep in mind, however, that there are many different types of coverage available under this plan. This means that more attention must be paid to choosing the plan that will best cover the type of care you require. There are plans available under Medicare Advantage that cover a myriad of areas, including vision, dental, and hearing, all of which are not covered under the Original Medicare insurance policy. Also, please note that most Medical Advantage options will also cover Part D Medicare insurance, which provides coverage of prescription medications.

Medicare Supplemental

This type of Medicare insurance, sometimes referred to as Medigap, is also offered by private insurance companies and helps the insured to pay for those costs that are not covered under Original Medicare. For example, Medicare Supplemental, or Medigap, may help the individual to pay for their deductibles as well as other additional services that the basic plan, namely Original Medicare, will not typically cover. It's important to note that this coverage is supplemental, which means that you must already have Part A and Part B insurance (Original Medicare) in order to tack on this type of policy.