To understand your best insurance option, you need to know the different parts of Medicare—Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), Part C, and Part D.
Original Medicare, which includes both Medicare Part A and Part B, is the standard, basic Medicare plan for eligible individuals. For most people, this means starting your coverage at age 65 when you first become eligible. For some, it’s under age 65 due to a disability or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). For others still, it’s past age 65 due to delayed retirement.
Whatever your situation, you can expect Original Medicare to cover your most essential medical needs.
Once you have both Parts A and B, other coverage options are available as well. Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, coordinates your Original Medicare coverage to give you lower out-of-pocket costs. You’ll still pay your premiums and deductibles, but copayments and coinsurance will be lower. How? By providing care within a network. This network will be different depending on the type of Advantage plan you purchase and where you live, but the lower cost still applies regardless.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. You can purchase it alongside Original Medicare, or find it included with an Advantage plan. Covered drugs are organized into categories, called formularies. All Part D plans will offer drugs within each category that treat the most common health needs, so be sure to compare available plans and pricing.
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