If you are just turning 65, and are newly eligible for Medicare, you are entering a brand-new world of health insurance options.
For most people, the insurance coverage available as a Medicare beneficiary is less expensive and/or more complete than what they were on before. Some retirees have their coverage completely covered by their former employer, with no premium to pay; Veterans also have inexpensive (if inconvenient) coverage. Most people though are best served by enrolling in either Medicare Supplement insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan.
There are two main types of Medicare insurance: Medicare Supplement plans, and Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement insurance
Long considered the best coverage available, this coverage covers the gaps that Original Medicare (having parts A and B only) leaves open. It provides tremendous flexibility with regards to physician and provider choice. Its “pay-once” structure, meaning you pay the monthly premium and nothing as you use most services, makes it very easy to use and virtually hassle-free. Has to be combined with a stand-alone “drug-only” Medicare Part D plan for prescriptions. Purchased mainly by those just turning 65, this is difficult to obtain after your first year of Medicare eligibility
Medicare Advantage insurance
These plans vary tremendously in terms of coverage and healthcare provider restrictions. They represent more of a “pay-as-you-go” approach to healthcare, with very low premiums and moderate co-payments as you use services. These plans often include drug coverage, and sometimes include annual caps on your out-of-pocket costs.
Neither option is “best”- the choice of which type of plan is really up to an individual. We have helped seniors enroll in Medicare Supplement, Private Fee for Service, PPO, HMO and “drug-only” Medicare prescription drug plans. Because of our independent nature, we are uniquely positions to discuss a variety of options and find one that is appropriate.