Comparing Medicare Options
Medicare is a system that is meant to be flexible and adapt to many different consumers’ needs. In practice, this means that it can be confusing to navigate between all of the different options.
There are three main options when it comes to Medicare: Original Medicare, Original Medicare with a Medigap policy, and Medicare Advantage Plans:
- Original Medicare covers Parts A and B.
- A Medigap policy covers Parts A, B, and out of pocket costs incurred by Original Medicare.
- Medicare Advantage Plans differ on what they cover, but they always include Parts A, B, and sometimes D.
Part D includes your prescription drug coverage, which can be bought as a standalone plan when enrolled in Original Medicare, or as an additional benefit when bought with a Medicare Advantage Plan.
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The difference between Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans lies in their flexibility and cost. Original Medicare and supplement plans can be less costly in the short-term with greater flexibility, but do not offer extra benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans can offer extra benefits, but they often cost more in the short-term and have less flexibility when it comes to choosing providers.