When it comes time to choose your Medicare health plan, you’ll be faced with a range of choices. It can be confusing. In a nutshell, you have three basic options: Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan. What are the pros and cons? Let’s take a look!
Medicare pays just 80% of the costs for covered medical expenses.
Like many people turning 65, you may think Medicare covers ALL your medical costs — only to get a big surprise later. Medicare is good, but it has deductibles and coinsurance amounts you must pay for — which could easily add up to thousands of dollars.
In fact, Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs, dental, vision or hearing care. It also doesn’t limit the amount you may have to pay each year out-of-pocket.
Relying on Medicare alone won’t give you all the benefits you need, and you could be putting your budget and savings at risk.
MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS
You’ll fill some gaps…while you pay more in premiums, and still need additional coverage.
While Medicare Supplement plans work to fill Original Medicare’s gaps and give you the freedom to use any provider you want, they can come at a steep price. In Maryland, the average monthly premium for popular Plan F is $245. That’s in addition to your Medicare Part B premium — and because no Medicare Supplement covers drugs, you have the added cost of a separate prescription drug plan.
Medicare Supplements generally don’t cover the cost of services for dental, vision or hearing care either. Choosing this option may require you to work with many different carriers for your health care services.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE (MA) PLANS
Over 17 million Americans on Medicare choose Medicare Advantage plans for affordable, all-in-one coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are similar to the types of health plans you may know from your working years. Plans like Advantage Plans bring together comprehensive health benefits, including built-in prescription drug coverage, with dental, vision and hearing care into a single health plan. Members have the freedom to see any health care provider they want (typically, out-of-network costs are slightly higher), with no referrals.