Medicare Planning

When planning for your Medicare health insurance coverage, it’s helpful to weigh your options. Your unique needs should dictate what you choose.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) provides hospital insurance and medical insurance. A Medicare Advantage plan is another option that provides the same coverage** and may include some additional benefits, such as dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.

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The basic benefits of Original Medicare

Medicare Part A provides coverage for inpatient care, including:

  • Hospital care
  • Care received at a skilled nursing facility
  • Hospice
  • Limited home health services

Medicare Part B provides medical insurance, which helps covers costs such as:

  • Medically necessary devices, services and supplies that help diagnose or treat health conditions
  • Preventive services such as doctor’s office visits

Both Medicare Part A and Part B include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket costs. They cover limited prescription drugs. To get broader coverage for prescription drugs, you would need to purchase either a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that offers these benefits.

Medicare Advantage plans help cover health care costs

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and offer the same basic benefits as Original Medicare (other than hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A). However, they may also offer some additional benefits, which may include:

  • Dental care coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Prescription drug benefits
  • Wellness and health incentive programs

Medicare Advantage plans are often structured as an HMO or PPO, though plan structure and availability will vary depending on your location.

Compare Medicare Advantage Plans for retirement planning

The earliest time you can usually enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan is during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP is a seven-month period that starts three months before you turn 65, includes the month of your 65th birthday and extends for another three months afterwards.

You may also be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (which is also called Annual Enrollment). This period starts on October 15 every year and lasts until December 7. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, this is also a time during which you switch Medicare Advantage plans.

A Medicare Advantage plan may be a good fit for you. Learn more by connecting with a licensed insurance agent today at TTY Users: 711.

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**Medicare Part A still covers hospice care, even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.