Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage: Which Is Right for You?

original medicare vs medicare advantage

Understanding your Medicare coverage options can be confusing, to say the least. The program includes two primary coverage options, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, each of which has its own distinct benefits. It’s important to understand the differences between the two programs to choose the best option for your healthcare needs.

Original Medicare

This is the original Medicare program and provides basic coverage for most medical services. It includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). With Original Medicare, you’re covered for physician visits, hospital care, lab tests, durable medical equipment (DME), and many preventive services. You may also need to purchase additional coverage, such as a Medigap policy or a prescription drug plan, to fill in the gaps.

Medicare Advantage Plans

These are private health plans that replace the original Medicare program. They offer all of the same coverage as Original Medicare, plus additional benefits like vision and dental coverage. The downside is that you’ll likely have more out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage plan than with Original Medicare. In addition, you may be limited to certain doctors and hospitals in your plan’s network.

Choosing the Right Coverage

When choosing between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to consider your medical needs and financial situation. Some of the things to keep in mind include:

  • Your current health care needs and whether you anticipate needing additional coverage in the future.
  • Whether you want coverage for vision and dental services.
  • Your budget and whether you can afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with a Medicare Advantage plan.

The Seniors Center is here to take the guesswork out of choosing the right coverage. Keep up with our posts on Twitter and Facebook for more on your Medicare options, updates on Social Security, and other topics that impact seniors.