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Trusted Senior Specialists helps you understand the Medicare basics

Understanding the Basics of Medicare

When it comes to your Medicare coverage, the proper choice depends on your individual needs, health, and budget. 

Medicare is an excellent program, but it doesn’t cover all of your costs. You deserve an affordable program that meets your unique needs and offers additional benefits to help you get (or stay) healthy! Read more about the basics of Medicare below.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is a national health insurance program in the U.S. that consists of 4 parts: A, B, C, and D. 

Part AHospital care
Part BMedical care
Part CMedicare Advantage
Part DPrescription drugs

Parts A and B make up Original Medicare, which is provided by the federal government. 

Parts C and D are separate plans offered by private insurance carriers. To learn more about what each part covers, keep browsing our website

Medicare 101 – Eligibility

You’re eligible for Medicare if you’re age 65 or older, are under 65 and have certain disabilities, or have end-stage renal (kidney) disease.

As soon as you’re eligible for Medicare, you’ll have choices to make about which type of coverage you want:

  • Original Medicare — Parts A and B
  • Medicare Advantage — Part C
  • Prescription Drug Plans — Part D

Related Post: 4 Things People New to Medicare Should Know

What Exactly Is Medicare Advantage? 

Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. If you choose not to keep Original Medicare, you can sign up for a Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan. This has all the coverage of Part A and Part B, plus Part D, and more. The extra benefits will differ by plan.

A Medicare Advantage program may work for you if you want:

  • All-in-one coverage that’s simple and easy
  • An affordable alternative to Original Medicare
  • Coverage with a yearly limit on out-of-pocket medical costs 

Comparing Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage

If you’re wondering how Original Medicare differs from Medicare Advantage, this chart should help clarify:

Original MedicareMedicare Advantage (Part C) Plan
You can see any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare.You might have to use a network of doctors and hospitals.
You have to buy a standalone Part D plan if you need or want prescription drug coverage.Your plan may include prescription drug coverage, so wouldn’t HAVE to buy a standalone Part D plan.
There’s no limit on how much you pay out of pocket each year.It caps your yearly out-of-pocket costs to protect your finances.

What About Medicare Supplement Plans?

If you keep your Original Medicare coverage, you might consider adding supplemental insurance (Medigap) to help cover copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. You’ll pay a monthly premium for Medigap plans, which are named by letters A through N. 

Note: You can’t have both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan. You must choose one or the other. 

Related Post: Frustrated with Medicare? Get FREE Medicare Planning

Now that you have a basic understanding of your Medicare options, you’ll be more prepared to make the right choice for your situation.

Contact a Medicare Specialist 

TSS agents take pride in helping thousands of beneficiaries nationwide in choosing the health insurance that is right for their lives. If you need help choosing the right Medicare plan, contact us today.