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
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:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO),
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
- Private Fee-for-Service Plans
- Medicare Special Needs Plans
- Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA)
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.
Help Paying for Health Care Costs
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.
Page Last Updated: October 15, 2008