If you are 65 or over, or Medicare-eligible due to disability status, Medicare covers many of your health care needs. Today Medicare is also working with private companies. The Medicare plan that you choose affects many things, like cost, benefits, doctor choice, convenience, and quality.
Also known as Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Doctor), this is a fee-for-service plan that covers many health care services and certain (clinical setting) drugs. You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. To receive services, you use your red, white, and blue Medicare card.The Original Medicare Plan pays for many health care services and supplies, but not for all of your health care costs. Costs that remain your responsibility include coinsurance, co-payments, and deductibles. These costs are called "gaps" in Medicare coverage.
Medigap policies are health insurance plans offered by private insurance companies to fill the "gaps" in Original Medicare. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn't cover. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay their shares of covered health care costs. You can also add prescription drug coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C”, are an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. Most Med Advantage plans offer coverage for things Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like vision, hearing, dental, and fitness programs (like gym memberships and discounts). Most Med Advantage plans also include drug coverage (Part D).