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Because Medicare is so flexible, choosing the right plan can be confusing for many newly eligible people. Choosing between Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans can be hard, let alone choosing between all of the individual plans themselves.
The first thing you need to do is to understand your needs. Will you be employed with health benefits when you or your spouse become eligible? Will you have veteran benefits? Do you have chronic illnesses that require prescription drugs? Do you need additional benefits, like dental, vision, and gym membership? Do you need to keep monthly costs low? Answering these questions will help you understand what type of coverage you need.
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The next task you need to complete is to decide whether you want Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan based on your answers above. If you would like additional benefits like dental and vision insurance, you may want to consider Medicare Advantage. If you would like to keep monthly costs low and provider options wide, Original Medicare may be a better option. See comparisons of the plans here.
If you decide you want Medicare Advantage, you must then decide on a plan type. Then, research different insurance companies that offer networks in your area.
The next task is to decide on whether or not you need prescription drug coverage. If you chose Original Medicare, you need to decide if you want to enroll in Part D. If you do not enroll in Part D during your Initial Enrollment Period and decide to do so later, you will suffer a late penalty.
If you decided on Medicare Advantage, you must discern whether your specific plan offers prescription drug coverage. If not, you should consider adding prescription drug coverage through Part D.
If you decided on Original Medicare, you need to decide then if you would like supplemental coverage.