What Are Some Options for Medicare Plans for the Elderly?


Quick Answer

Senior citizens with Medicare benefits have two options to reduce some of the costs that Medicare Part A and Part B plans do not cover. They can either purchase a Medicare Supplement Policy, from a private insurer, also known as a Medigap policy, or they can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C. Seniors also have the option to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, which provides additional prescription drug coverage, according to Medicare.gov.

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Full Answer

In a Medicare Advantage Plan, the policyholder relinquishes the right to Original Medicare and enrolls in a healthcare plan through a private company. The insurer is under contract with Medicare to provide the same insurance benefits as Original Medicare and may include additional benefits, such as dental insurance, eye insurance and drug insurance. The policyholder is responsible for copays and deductibles, but the annual fee for the plan is very low or nonexistent, as Medicare.gov reports.

In a Medicare Supplement Plan, the policyholder remains on Original Medicare and receives additional benefits from a private insurer. While the plans usually have higher monthly or annual costs, they may provide up to 100 percent coverage of a policyholder's remaining healthcare expenses. Some Medigap plans include copays and deductibles, and some plans pay for every eligible healthcare expense from the beginning. There are several standardized plan types, and individuals can purchase them from licensed insurers in their region. Since Medigap plans do not include additional drug coverage, dental coverage or eye coverage, individuals may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan or other private insurance plans for those specific needs, as Medicare.gov explains.

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