Comparing Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage
Recent research examined the differences between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage.Read more
Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed for seniors aged 65 and older as well as people with qualifying disabilities.
If you have Medicare Parts A and B (often called “traditional” Medicare), you are eligible to join a Medicare Advantage plan, known as Medicare Part C. Medicare Part C is an alternative to traditional Medicare.
With Medicare Part C, you can choose from numerous private health insurance plans.
Under Medicare Advantage, beneficiaries may choose from a number of private health plans, which include the following:
Once you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you can only change plans during certain times of the year. You can switch plans during the Medicare open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 through December 7 every year. You can also join a Medicare drug plan during that period.
There is also a disenrollment period, during which you can switch from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare. That period runs from January 1 through March 31.
Beneficiaries who are happy with the way they are receiving Medicare can stay with their program, unless the program stops participating in Medicare. New Medicare enrollees who do not choose a particular program will automatically be enrolled in traditional Medicare.
Medicare is a complex topic. For professional guidance, you may consider visiting Medicare’s Plan Finder, an online tool that helps you to compare plans. Also available are State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), which offer you trained counselors who can give you impartial advice. Find your local SHIP online. Or, you also may wish to seek out a qualified elder law attorney in your area.