There are so many options for Medicare these days. Outside of Original Medicare, Parts A and B, beneficiaries can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan which can offer additional – and impressive – benefits.

So which Medicare plan is best for you?

One factor to consider is cost. Costs are a major deciding factor on most purchases in life, and Medicare plans are no exception.  In addition to your premiums, you should also factor in things like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. But don’t let the cost of the plan alone be your final deciding factor. It’s important to understand what will be covered within your plan, and what will not. For example, you might pick a plan where you pay a much lower premium but end up needing a service or prescription outside of what’s covered in your plan. You could end up paying thousands out of pocket because the services you need, aren’t covered.

Original Medicare is managed by the federal government. This means the benefits are the exact same for everyone who enrolls. One CON to this plan is it doesn’t take your individual needs or conditions into consideration, meaning you might not be getting exactly what YOU need. One Pro for Original Medicare is that there is no waiting period or enrollment limitations.

Another PRO for Original Medicare is the network of doctors available is huge, over 900,000 physicians nationwide. This gives you a lot of flexibility to visit doctors within the plan, including specialists without a referral.

Another CON is that there is no prescription drugs covered. However, you can purchase a prescription drug plan, Part D. These are sold by private insurance companies and can be a huge help covering the costs of prescriptions, which can be very expensive without insurance.

As a refresher, Part A covers inpatient care when you are admitted into a hospital. Part B pays for outpatient expenses like doctor visits, x-rays, and lab tests.

Now that you have a little more understanding of Original Medicare, let’s talk about Medicare Advantage.

These plans are not managed by the federal government, but sold by private insurance companies who manage and sell the plans. All Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer the same benefits you’d get under Original Medicare. The difference is, many go above and beyond, offering additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing and even access to doctors and nurses by phone 24/7. While this is a major PRO, one CON to Medicare Advantage is limitations on the network of doctors you can see in your area. It’s important to research which doctors are covered, especially if you like your current doctor.

The cost and benefits of Medicare Advantage plans vary, based on where you live and your current conditions. The easiest way to learn more is by calling our Medicare Benefits Review Hotline.  We can compare hundreds of plans, see if you qualify, and get you started.