Comparing Medicare Plans

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Your first decision in finding a health care plan that may be right for you is to determine if Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan may best meet your needs.

Get more information about these plans. About Medicare

Original Medicare

Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. Part B is optional - but recommended. There are additional plans you can add to Original Medicare to meet your health care needs:

  • Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D). Helps cover the costs of your prescription drugs.
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance. Helps pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover.

Keep in mind that you may need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B to enroll in one of these additional plans.

Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Advantage plans require enrollment in Medicare Parts A and B. Then you can evaluate your choices and decide:

  • What type of plan you want - HMO, PPO, POS or PFFS.
  • Whether or not you want prescription drug coverage.
  • What additional benefits you might want, like vision or hearing coverage.

Remember that if you miss your enrollment window to sign up for a prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan, you could pay a Late Enrollment Penalty or have reduced choices. However, if you have other prescription coverage as good as Medicare (also known as creditable coverage), you may not be assessed a Late Enrollment Penalty.

Compare with your current medical coverage

If you are a retiree covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan, it might make sense to stick with it. Before you evaluate your choices, check with a human resources or union representative at your former employer to make sure you understand the full extent of your current medical coverage.