Seniors face a bewildering array of health plan choices. Should you stick with Original Medicare, which provides only hospital and medical coverage? Original Medicare, plus a Medicare Supplement from a private insurer? Or should you opt to buy a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurer to take care of all your health insurance needs?
To learn more about the various types of Medicare coverage, click here..
Medicare Supplement, or “Medigap” Plans
If you have Original Medicare (Parts A and B), a Medicare Supplement plan can fill the “gaps” left in your coverage, including deductibles, co-payments and uncovered services.
Medicare Part B has a monthly premium. For an additional low monthly premium, which you’ll pay to a private insurer, a Medigap plan can help you avoid unpleasant financial surprises. Policies cover individuals only (no family coverage), so you and your spouse will need separate policies.
Prescription Drug Plans (PDP)
Medicare Supplement plans do NOT include prescription coverage (Part D) for the most part, however, some Medicare Advantage Plans do. Joining a prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly premium.
You can wait to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you have other creditable prescription coverage, but, if you don’t have prescription coverage that is, on average, at least as good as Medicare prescription coverage, you will pay a penalty if you wait to join later. You will have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans (also called “Part C”) take the place of Original Medicare. Written by private insurance companies, they include all the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and often include other coverage, such as Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), sometimes for an extra cost.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not need (and cannot use) a Medicare Supplement policy.
Some insurers don’t have direct agent links, but we can still help! We offer Medicare options through 6 insurers. Contact us for more information.