“You’re not alone if you find Medicare to be puzzling.” — Illustration by R.O. Blechman
” Medicare is not a simple ‘one size fits all’ system. Some coverage is offered through a variety of private insurance plans — and you must choose the plan that suits you.
“Boomers typically like choices, but you may feel overwhelmed by those in Medicare.
“Here’s a quick overview of your options:
Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage?
“When you enroll in Medicare for the first time, you’re automatically in the ‘traditional’ or ‘original’ program that’s been in place since 1966. If you prefer to join a Medicare Advantage plan, you can do so right away or during open enrollment (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) in any year.
- Traditional Medicare covers Parts A and B, and you pay standard rates for services, regardless of where you live. You can go to any doctor, hospital or other provider that accepts Medicare patients anywhere in the country.
Medicare.gov has lots of information at its Website.
Medicare defines Medicare Advantage Plans as “A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.”
“13 things to know about Medicare Advantage Plans” – Medicare.gov