Medicare is our federal health insurance program for Americans who are:
There are four main parts to Medicare:
With Medicare, you have two options for coverage:
Original Medicare pays for many healthcare services and supplies, but not all. Included is Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). You pay for services as you receive them. If you want drug coverage, you can add a separate drug plan (Part D) for an additional cost.
Medicare Advantage offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your healthcare and drug coverage. These plans are “bundled”, and usually include Part A, Part B, and Part D. Some plans may offer some extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, and dental services.
Medicare Supplement Plans can help pay for some of the remaining healthcare costs, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. These plans are an additional expense.
There are three enrollment periods:
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans include Part D, drug coverage.
Before joining a Medicare Advantage Plan, you should talk to your employer, union or other benefits specialist about their rules before you join a plan. In some cases, joining a Medicare Advantage Plan might cause you to lose your employer/union coverage. If you drop or lose employer/union coverage for yourself, you might also lose coverage for your spouse or dependents.