MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLANS: Can pick up where Medicare leaves off, so they work in conjunction with Medicare. Generally, there is very little out of pocket when using a Medicare Supplement, depending on the plan. Insureds can see any provider accepting Medicare patients, nationwide. Eligibility requires both Medicare Part A and Part B; pair a Part D plan with a supplement to round out your benefits.
MEDICARE PART D: Part D prescription drugs are offered through independent carriers. Each plan offers a specific drug formulary and a specific network, which vary by carrier. Copays and tiers of drugs also vary by carrier. Eligibility requires entitlement to Medicare Part A and enrollment in Part B. If you do not purchase a Part D plan when eligible, you may pay a lifelong penalty when you do decide to purchase a Part D plan.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: Medicare Advantage (Part C) takes the place of original Medicare and is sold through independent carriers. These plans have low premiums; however, they may have higher out of pocket costs compared to Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare Advantage plans use specific networks. Many plans have built-in prescription drug coverage and value-added benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, gym membership and 24/7 nurse hotline.