Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare is run by a federal agency known as The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS. It is funded by Social Security and Medicare taxes you pay on your income, premiums that people with Medicare pay, and through the federal budget.
Understanding your Medicare coverage choices is important. How you choose to get your benefits and who you get them from can affect your out-of-pocket costs and where you can get your care.
Original Medicare provides coverage for you to go to nearly all doctors and hospitals in the country. Medicare Advantage Plans on the other hand have network restrictions. This means that you could be more limited in your access to doctors and hospitals. However, Medicare Advantage Plans can also provide additional benefits that Original Medicare does not cover.
Unfortunately, choosing health insurance is no longer a one-time decision for most Medicare beneficiaries. Insurance companies can make changes to policies every year. Just because your doctor and medications are covered this year doesn’t automatically mean they will be covered in the coming year. Research studies show that the average consumer could save $300 or more annually if they review their Part D coverage.