When someone becomes eligible for Medicare, unless they are covered by a group plan of some kind, they have two options — Original Medicare (with a Medicare Supplement Plan) or, Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C).
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to the government issued “Original Medicare” program, and is administered by private insurance companies, not the government. You cannot have Original Medicare AND Medicare Advantage, only one or the other.
Medicare Advantage plans work in many ways like individual health insurance, in that they combine the hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverages into one plan. This means if you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have one identification card.
Medicare Advantage plans are different from Original Medicare in many ways, including pricing, coverage levels, co-insurance, deductibles and more. There are also special rules surrounding Medicare Advantage plans.
It’s critical that you get thorough and unbiased advice when it comes to choosing between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, because in some scenarios your final choice cannot be “undone”.
One other important point to note is that not all Medicare Advantage Plans are available everywhere. In other words, if you have a friend in Phoenix who has a Medicare Advantage plan they like, it may not be available in Tucson.
Because Magnuson & Associates is an independent agency, we can provide you with objective advice that will educate you on the differences, pros and cons, and ultimately help you make your decision much easier.