Medicare Plan Comparison

Almost all Americans turning 65 become eligible to collect Medicare benefits. Medicare is important because this aging population typically requires more care and is at risk for the development of more health issues.

Traditional Medicare

Most Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Part A generally covers hospital-related insurance and is offered to the beneficiary of the plan for free. Part B, on the other hand, usually requires the payment of a premium and encompasses other forms of medical insurance. Often times, Medicare beneficiaries use their part of their Social Security penefits to cover that cost.

Other Forms of Medicare

In addition to the traditional forms of Medicare discussed above, there are also supplemental forms of Medicare to consider. For instance, there is what is known as Medigap. Medigap is Medicare’s supplemental insurance system and it comes in a number of forms, designated plans A through N, each of which covers its own collection of services. Premiums attached will vary from plan to plan.

There are also Medicare Advantage options available, which is delivered by private insurance companies. These are actually different from Medigap, although it’s easy to confuse the two. Advantage is typically put in place instead of Medigap coverage, as opposed to in addition to it. Some Advantage plans don’t call for the payment of additional premiums and a few options even call for a refund of some of the Plan B premium.

Choosing Your Coverage

Which of the many Medicare options out there represents the best choice for you depends largely on your answer to a number of questions. To begin with, you will want to look into which plans are available in your area, as well as which plans are likely to include your existing hospital and doctor under coverage. (Most people prefer to stay with the health care provider and facility they know.)

Budgetary concerns are also something to consider. Some Medicare options are a lot more expensive than others and many offer much greater degrees of coverage. If you have certain medical conditions that will require special treatment or consideration, definitely keep those in mind when selecting your plan. Often, choosing the right coverage option for you involves weighing the benefits against the out of pocket costs and coming up with a happy medium that best covers all the bases.

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Medicare Supplemental plans can pay costs over and above Original Medicare's coverage.