Do I need to get a Medicare supplement when signing up for Medicare?

Medicare is broken into Part A (inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice care) and Part B (doctor visits, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment and other health care services).

A variety of Medigap options, also known as Medicare supplements, are available. In fact, there are twelve standardized plans, each with a different letter A - L. Review coverages for the standardized plans, decide which one is best for you, and then comparison shop. Prices will vary by insurer, but benefits for the plan you want are identical from one company to the next. Policyholders pay the insurance company a monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. Medigap policies do not cover prescriptions, vision care, dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing, or long term care.

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called Part C, offer an alternative to traditional Medicare and Medigap coverage. Insurers may offer HMO, PPO, or PFFS plans Find out which doctors, hospitals, and health care providers are covered in the Medicare Advantage Plan you are considering before proceeding. Medicare Advantage Plans can be a less expensive option, and may include dental, vision, chiropractic care, and more. However, yu will pay more out-of-pocket when receiving medical care from an unapproved health care provider.