| Tue, Mar 29, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Which type of Medicare do you really need?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

health care services, health benefits, health services, health clinic, medical clinic Medicare offers a wide variety of health benefits to meet the needs of the millions of beneficiaries enrolled in the program. While having choices when it comes to your medical coverage is a good thing, it can also make selecting a plan seem complicated. In order to make an informed decision on your Medicare coverage, it’s important to understand the two ways you can get Medicare health benefits.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare, provided by the federal government, is comprised of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B health benefits. Medicare Part A covers “medically necessary” inpatient care including hospital stays and some follow-up care in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare Part B covers “medically necessary” out-patient care including doctor’s office visits. Medicare Part A is free if you or your spouse has made payroll contributions to Social Security for at least 10 years. Medicare Part B coverage requires beneficiaries to pay a monthly premium.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is also known as Medicare Part C. These plans are offered by private insurance companies and include all of the coverage available through Original Medicare as well as additional benefits. Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers, price and coverage vary widely from plan to plan. It’s important to research all of the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area before enrolling in a plan.

Selecting a Plan

Once you understand the two ways to get Medicare health benefits, it’s time to decide which method is best suited for your needs. A good way to do this is to review your recent medical history. Consider any procedures, tests, medications, etc., that you have needed at your medical clinic in the recent past. Now, make a list of those that you are likely to need in the future. With this list in hand, review your coverage options and find the plan or plans that best meet your health needs and your budget. Be sure to do this review every year. This will allow you to make changes in your plan coverage as needed, if your medical needs change.

To learn about the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area, contact your local Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778 or visit secure.ssa.gov to locate the Social Security office nearest you.

Still in need of more information before selecting your Medicare plan(s)? Consider Medicare Made Clear as one of your many partners in health. Check out the Decision Road Map on page 36 of our Show Me Guide.

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The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.

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