Additional 2014 Medicare info-Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage Plans
There are two different ways that someone with Medicare can receive their Medicare benefits. People can receive their Medicare benefits through either Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Original Medicare is the traditional Medicare program directly administered by the federal government. Medicare Advantage is Medicare coverage offered through private insurance companies.
In addition, people can sign up for a stand-alone Part D plan that works with their Original Medicare coverage during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. Part D, also known as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, can be offered through a stand-alone Part D plan that works with Original Medicare. It can also be offered through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, which is a Medicare Advantage plan that provides you with Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Keep in mind that people who switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period may not be able to buy a Medigap plan, depending on their state’s Medigap enrollment rules. Medigap plans are supplemental insurance plans that help pay for out-of-pocket Original Medicare costs, such as deductibles, coinsurances and copayments. In addition, know that you can only purchase a Medigap plan if you receive your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare. You cannot purchase a Medigap plan if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. For more information on Medigap plans in your area, contact your local State Department of Insurance.