Medicare options are abundant, and utilizing a broker to help navigate the options is highly recommended. Brokers can never charge for their services in providing Medicare solutions, and it’s in their best interests to find a plan that works best for you.
Medicare Advantage - Sometimes called Part C, a Medicare Advantage plan is an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. They are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you still have Medicare, it’s just managed by a private company. In most cases, Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Part A and Part B, and typically include built-in Part D for prescription drugs. Premiums on these plans can run from $0 and up.
Medicare Supplement – Sometimes called Medigap, it helps pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles. While Medicare Supplements are sold by private companies, unlike a Medicare Advantage Plan, these do not replace your original Part A and Part B Medicare. Additionally, most plans require you to purchase a separate Part D plan for drugs to avoid a penalty. While these plans typically cover some or all expenses Medicare does not, a Medicare Supplement plan is typically most costly than a Medicare Advantage plan.
Prescription Drug Plans – Also called Part D, is usually required when someone becomes Medicare eligible. People who purchase a Medicare Supplement, or those who wish to just maintain original Medicare and pay the 20% of costs on their own may also purchase a Part D plan a la carte. Part D plans are managed by private insurance companies, and the formulary lists between companies varies extensively. Make sure you work with a broker to find a plan that will cover your drugs.