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Medicare covers many of your health care needs. Today’s Medicare is working with private companies approved by Medicare that provide different ways to get your health care and prescription drug coverage in the Medicare Program. The Medicare plan that you choose affects many things like cost, benefits, doctor choice, convenience, and quality. Your Medicare plan choices include:
The Original Medicare Plan – This is a fee-for-service plan that covers many health care services and certain drugs. You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. When you get your health care, you use your red, white, and blue Medicare card.
The Original Medicare Plan pays for many health care services and supplies, but it doesn’t pay all of your health care costs. There are costs that you must pay, like coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. These costs are called “gaps” in Medicare coverage. You might want to consider buying a Medigap policy to cover these gaps in Medicare coverage. You can also add prescription drug coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
For more information on the Original Medicare Plan, visit the Original Medicare Plan section of this website.
Medicare Advantage Plans – Available in many areas. If you have one of these plans, you don’t need a Medigap policy. These plans include:
These plans may cover more services and have lower out-of-pocket costs than the Original Medicare Plan. Some plans cover prescription drugs. In some plans, like HMOs, you may only be able to see certain doctors or go to certain hospitals to get covered services.
Click here for more information on Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – These stand-alone plans add prescription drug coverage to the Original Medicare Plan, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. Click here for more information on Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
The Medicare plan that you choose affects many things like cost, benefits, doctor choice, convenience, and quality. To compare your Medicare Health Plan choices, go to the Medicare Options Compare. To compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, go to the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder.
There are wide ranges of health care coverage choices that may help pay for some of your health care costs. These health care choices work with the benefits you have from Medicare. What you choose will affect how much you pay, what benefits you have, which doctors you can see, and other things that may be important to you. For more information about programs that may help pay for some of your health care costs, please read Section 7 and Section 8 of the Medicare & You 2009 handbook.