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?
You’ll get a brief overview if you want to read more.
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, 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.
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.