Choosing a Medicare Plan


There are three options when choosing a Medicare plan:

Original Medicare

You can rely on Original Medicare alone to provide coverage. However, it is important to know that Original Medicare covers only about 80% of most people’s medical expenses. And it does not provide prescription drug coverage. For those wanting prescription drug coverage, a separate Medicare Part D drug plan must be purchased.

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

You can choose a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) to provide Original Medicare coverage – plus extra benefits. Many Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage as well. Medicare Advantage plans provide these benefits through a contract with the government, so a Medicare card is not needed to get medical services. Medicare Advantage plans may cost more if the member sees a doctor or provider who is not in the plan’s network. Those who choose Medicare Advantage plans cannot buy a Medicare Supplement plan.

Medicare Supplement

You can choose a Medicare Supplement insurance plan in addition to Original Medicare to fill the gaps not covered by Medicare alone. Medicare Supplement insurance plans do not include prescription drug coverage. For prescription drug coverage, a separate Medicare Part D drug plan must be purchased. Generally, people with Medicare Supplement insurance plans can see any doctor they want, so they are not limited to a particular insurance plan’s network.

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Updated November 1, 2019

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