| Thu, Sep 01, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Comparing Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Did you know that most Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage, often with no additional premium?When you become eligible for Medicare, you’ll need to decide whether to stay with Original Medicare or to choose a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company.

  • Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program consisting of Part A and Part B. Part A helps with hospital costs. Part B helps with doctor and outpatient costs. Part A is premium-free for most people. Part B comes with a premium that must be paid to Medicare.
  • Medicare Advantage plans, or Part C, are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans provide all the benefits of Original Medicare plus additional coverage such as prescription drug coverage and dental, hearing and vision care, often with no added premium.

To decide which of these Medicare choices is best for your situation, it’s a good idea to consider your health history, your current health needs and your finances. Once you understand your needs, you can use the following table to begin to compare how well Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan might work for you.

Comparing Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Adding Coverage to Original Medicare

If you decide to keep Original Medicare, you can still get coverage for prescriptions drugs, foreign travel, help with copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and more. You may want to research Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) and prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D). These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and vary in coverage and cost from plan to plan and from region to region. You can go to the Medicare website, medicare.gov, and use the online tool to help search for plans in your area.

To learn more, contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear at 1-877-619-5582 (TTY 711), 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week. You may also call the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

Understanding Medicare – MedicareMadeClear.com

2011 Medicare Premiums and Coinsurance Rates – Medicage.gov

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