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You have a few options when you’re choosing your Medicare coverage. Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements are the most common route soon-to-be-retirees take when they’re starting out. Check out our video below or scroll down to our Brief Guide to Original Medicare to learn why.
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Brief Guide to Original Medicare
Option 1: Original Medicare, is the choice most Medicare beneficiaries take when they start Medicare. Medicare is made up of Parts A and B, which cover hospital and medical expenses. Part A is premium-free for most while Part B requires the user to pay a small deductible and 20% of the costs. After signing up for Part A and Part B, you have the option to add a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, policy. These policies cover the 20% of costs that Original Medicare by itself doesn’t cover.
Pros and Cons of Original Medicare plans:
Pros of Original Medicare
No Network Restrictions
You can choose from any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare, which is fortunately a large majority.
Possibility of no co-pays, co-insurance, or even no deductibles
With certain Medicare Supplement plans, you can have no co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible costs. In other words, you’d only have to pay your premium each month and nothing else. This is good option for people who go to the doctor regularly.
Choice of Supplement
There are 10 different standardized Medicare Supplement plans, each named with a letter. Every letter plan has different benefits, but the benefits offered by plans of the same letter are exactly the same no matter which company you purchase it from. The only difference is in the companies’ price, which means you can shop around for the lowest rate.
Supplements can be changed at any time during the year
Unlike Advantage plans, Supplements can be changed at any time during the year. If your Supplement price goes up and you want to save money by switching, you can.
Some plans offer extra perks, such as gym memberships
Certain companies offer extra perks with their Medicare Supplement plan. The most used perk is typically a free gym membership.
Cons of Original Medicare
Your Medicare Supplement, Drug plan, and, if you choose, dental and vision coverage are each paid for separately. These costs tend to add up quickly, so if you’re on a tight budget, a Medicare Advantage plan might be a better option for you.
Health Questions for Medicare Supplement
If you want to try and change your Supplement plans to save money, you must answer health questions (unless you’re in your open enrollment period). This can prevent some people from switching, especially if new health issues have appeared since originally signing up for a Supplement plan.
Make sure to call more than one company or use a brokerage that works with multiple companies. This approach will ensure you get the pricing information necessary to make the cheapest and most informed decision for you and your family.
Learn more about Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage in our blog:
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