What are Medicare’s parts? Medicare has four basic parts: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part D (drug coverage) and Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap).
What are my choices? Original Medicare, which includes Parts A and B, and lets you join a separate drug plan to get Part D. You can visit any doctor or hospital in the U.S. that takes Medicare. If you need help with your out-of-pocket costs, you can buy Medigap. Choice two is Medicare Advantage, a Medicare-approved plan from a private company. These plans include Parts A, B and usually D. They might have lower out-of-pocket costs and more benefits than Original Medicare, but you’ll have to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.
What if I’m enrolled but want to change my plan? According to www.medicareresources.org, during open enrollment, you can:
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare or vice versa.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
- Switch from one Part D prescription plan to another. It’s highly recommended that all beneficiaries use Medicare’s plan finder tool each year to compare the available Part D plans, as opposed to simply letting an existing drug plan auto-renew.
- Join a Medicare Part D plan. (Late-enrollment penalty may apply.)
- Drop your Part D coverage altogether. (Re-enrolling in a later year will include a late-enrollment penalty if you’re not maintaining other creditable drug coverage.)
Where can I get help if I need it? There are numerous resources available to help you find your way. Here are some keys websites: