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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is underway.**
It’s time to review your 2021 Medicare plan options.

Explore Medicare plans with SelectQuote.

Let us help you find the right Medicare plan and make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you deserve. There’s no obligation to enroll.

Medicare’s AEP is underway.**
Contact us today to review 2021 Medicare plans.

The Different Types of Medicare Plans Explained

For people age 65 and older, as well as those with certain disabilities under the age of 65, there are many different Medicare coverage options available. When deciding what type of plan you need, it’s helpful to understand what’s included with each plan and to compare costs. It’s also important to consider whether or not your current physician(s) can accept your plan and coverage for prescription drugs you may need to take.

What is the best type of Medicare plan?

The best Medicare plans are the ones that fit your needs and budget. Original Medicare covers hospital insurance (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B). Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are an alternative to Original Medicare, and in addition to covering Part A and Part B, Medicare Advantage plans usually cover prescription drugs, too. If you choose Original Medicare, you may want additional coverage, such as Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) or Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap). When considering how to choose Medicare plans, let SelectQuote help—there’s no obligation to enroll.

Types of Medicare Plans: Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private health insurance companies that are approved by Medicare, and in addition to covering hospital (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B), many Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include additional benefits, such as routine dental, vision, hearing and fitness memberships.

If you decide to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have to pay a monthly premium, but some plans can be as low as $0/month.* Some plans require a deductible while others do not—copayments and coinsurance can vary greatly with Medicare Advantage plans. For example, one plan may charge you a 20% coinsurance to see a primary care doctor and another may charge you $0. When considering a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to consider all of the available plans in your area to ensure you get the right plan for your needs.

Types of Medicare Plans: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Prescription medications you take at home are not typically covered by Original Medicare. And if you are wanting prescription drug coverage through a Medicare plan, you have two options:

  1. Enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan (Prescription Drug plan) that works alongside Original Medicare
  2. Choose a Medicare Advantage plan that also includes prescription drug coverage

As you consider a Medicare prescription drug plan, pay attention to the formulary—a list of covered prescription drugs. If you are already taking prescription medications, be sure to check that your prescription is covered before you sign up for a plan. Medicare Part D plans may include both brand name and generic prescription drugs. Medicare drug plans generally need to include at least two drugs in the most commonly prescribed categories and classes, but plans can choose which drugs are covered and which ones aren’t.

In terms of monthly costs, most Medicare prescription drug plans charge a monthly premium. You’ll need to pay this in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage, the plan’s monthly premium may include an amount for drug coverage. Deductibles vary between Medicare drug plans and Medicare prescription drug plans may also have a copayment or coinsurance.

Types of Medicare Plans: Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Medicare Supplement insurance plans, also commonly referred to as Medigap plans, help with gaps in coverage from Medicare Parts A and B, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplement plans generally cover Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted. Additionally, they generally cover:

  • At least 50% of Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • The first three pints of blood received in a medical procedure
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Your Medicare Supplement insurance plan (Medigap Insurance) may or may not cover all or part of:

  • The skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergencies up to plan limits

In terms of cost for Medicare Supplement insurance plans, most have a monthly premium that’s set by the private insurance companies who offer these plans. The premiums are based on age, health status, gender and various other factors. Unfortunately, you must pay the premium even if you do not use any medical services. Only Medicare Supplement Plan K and Plan L have an out-of-pocket maximum.

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Finding the Right Type of Medicare Health Plan For Your Needs

Deciding what kind of coverage is right for you can be complex and overwhelming, especially when there are so many different types of Medicare plans available. At SelectQuote, we can help you review your options in just minutes. We can compare plans available to you, answer any questions you have about coverage and help you determine what might be the right option for you to sign up for Medicare with.

Medicare Plans Comparison Chart by Coverage Type

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage differ in their coverage types. Medicare Advantage plans generally offer Medicare beneficiaries additional coverage when compared to Original Medicare plans.

Coverage TypeOriginal MedicareMedicare Advantage
Hospital Insurance
  • Inpatient hospitals
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Home health and hospice care
  • Inpatient hospitals
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Home health and hospice care
Medical Insurance
  • Routine doctor visits
  • Specialist visits
  • Preventative services
  • Routine doctor visits
  • Specialist visits
  • Preventative services
Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Not available. Would require an additional stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan
  • Plans with Prescription Drug coverage available
Additional Coverage
  • Not available. Would require an additional Medicare Supplement Plan
  • Plans with additional coverage available (vision, dental, etc.)
Hospital Insurance
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Inpatient hospitals
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Home health and hospice care
  • Inpatient hospitals
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Home health and hospice care
Medical Insurance
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Routine doctor visits
  • Specialist visits
  • Preventative services
  • Routine doctor visits
  • Specialist visits
  • Preventative services
Prescription Drug Coverage
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Not available. Would require an additional stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan
  • Plans with Prescription Drug coverage available
Additional Coverage
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Not available. Would require an additional Medicare Supplement Plan
  • Plans with additional coverage available (vision, dental, etc.)

Medicare Plans Comparison Chart by Coverage Cost

Medicare plans, like Original Medicare plans and Medicare Advantage plans, vary in their coverage and costs. Medicare costs often differ by income, work qualifications and amount of coverage needed. It’s important to note that Medicare Advantage plans typically have less out-of-pocket costs compared to Original Medicare plans.

Coverage CostsOriginal MedicareMedicare Advantage
Premiums
  • Premiums vary by income and work qualifications
  • Premiums vary by income and plan
Deductibles
  • Recurring deductible by benefit period
  • Deductible costs generally don’t apply
Coinsurance (copayment)
  • 20% coinsurance for outpatient care
  • Copay varies by plan and type of care
Out-of-Pocket Maximum
  • No maximum for Original Medicare
  • Maximum will vary by plan
Premiums
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Premiums vary by income and work qualifications
  • Premiums vary by income and plan
Deductibles
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • Recurring deductible by benefit period
  • Deductible costs generally don’t apply
Coinsurance (copayment)
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • 20% coinsurance for outpatient care
  • Copay varies by plan and type of care
Out-of-Pocket Maximum
Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
  • No maximum for Original Medicare
  • Maximum will vary by plan

Let SelectQuote Find the Best Type of Medicare Plan For You

In just minutes, we can compare Medicare plans available in your area. Some Medicare health plans have premiums as low as $0/month and may also include dental, vision and prescription drug coverage. Don’t wait to ensure you’re getting all the benefits you deserve. Get started today—there’s no obligation to enroll.

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