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“Everyone at this agency are terrific people to work with! They care about their customers/clients and try to work with you with your needs. The health insurance and Medicare supplements are pretty scary to search through, but these folks guide you through it in such an understandable way so you can decide which works best for you. They are knowledgeable people and all have a great sense of humor to boot! I very much recommend this agency for your insurance needs.”
- Karen H.
You finally reached 65. You have lived a full and rewarding life. Now, it’s time to ensure your healthcare needs are met well into the future.
Medicare is a federally funded insurance program for eligible participants aged 65 and older. Medicare has several major “Parts,” identified by a corresponding letter of the alphabet. It may sound like alphabet soup, but each Medicare Part has distinct features.
Medicare Part A is for hospitalization. Medicare Part B is for medical insurance. Medicare Part C is also called Medicare Advantage. Medicare Part D is used for prescription drug coverage.
Medicare does not cover 100% of your healthcare costs. Health Estimates recommends purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan or Medicare Advantage if you have traditional Medicare to offset rising healthcare costs and any gaps in coverage.
In most cases, an enrollee in Medicare Advantage will have prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) included directly through their plan. However, certain Medicare plans do not include prescription drug coverage at all. An individual in these cases will need a separate Medicare Part D prescription plan if they want prescription coverage. There are other major differences between Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Supplement plans are known as Medigap. Having a Medicare Supplement plan ensures that gaps in medical costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B will be covered. These plans are standardized and offer an array of benefits to help offset your overall healthcare costs.
To obtain a Medicare Supplement plan, an individual must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. However, Medicare Supplement plans DO NOT provide coverage for services that are not already covered by Medicare Parts A and B. An example would include “non-essential” cosmetic surgeries.
Medicare Supplement plans are purchased through a private insurer for areas already covered under Medicare Parts A and B. There is a range of Medicare Supplement plans available, and each plan has a corresponding letter of the alphabet.
Medicare Supplement plans work in conjunction with the coverage gaps that are left behind by Medicare Parts A and B. It is not necessary for an individual who has Medicare Advantage to also have coverage through a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to traditional Medicare Parts A and B. Also called Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage plans are approved by Medicare but are run by private companies including Health Maintenance Organizations (or “HMOs”) and Preferred Provider Organizations (or “PPOs”).
Individuals cannot be enrolled in both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. If you want to enroll in Medicare Part D, you need coverage through Medicare Parts A and B.
Shopping for health insurance or navigating Medicare can be particularly daunting and brought with uncertainty. If you’re soon to be retired or newly retired you may have more questions than answers. Experienced Health Estimates professionals are standing by to assist you with all of your health insurance needs at (888) 251-4141. In the meantime, we encourage learning everything you can about Medicare and Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage.