When signing up for a Medicare plan there are many different options and considerations. First, different types of Medicare cover different services and it is important to know what exactly you are signing up for.
Medicare Part A – Hospital coverage
Medicare Part B – Physician and outpatient coverage
Medicare Part D – Prescription medication coverage
Medigap or Supplemental – Covers some of the gaps in Part A and Part B
Managed Care Plan
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)– This plan requires Part A and Part B but no Medigap plan is needed. Under managed care, there is a specific group of service providers that are covered. Because of this the consumer has less choices about which doctors he or she will see.
Elder Law Answers (http://www.elderlawanswers.com/know-your-options-before-signing-up-for-medicare-15259) provides links to a number of resources that will help ensure you are making an informed decision regarding Medicare Coverage.
More information about Medicare Advantage: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/medicare-advantage-an-alternative-to-original-medicare–12244
Difference between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage: http://www.medicarerights.org/fliers/Medicare-Advantage/Differences-Between-OM-and-MA.pdf?nrd=1
Choosing a Medicare drug plan: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/10-factors-to-consider-when-choosing-a-medicare-drug-plan-12183
Choosing a Medigap policy: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/how-to-choose-a-medigap-policy-7521
Medicare Advantage vs. Medigap: http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/medicare-primer-advantage-or-medigap/
AARP Medicare Q&A tool: http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-qa-tool.html?intcmp=AE-HEA-MED-CHspot-TOOL-MEDIQA
Consumer Reports guide to getting the most out of medicare: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/09/managing-medicare/index.htm
What you need to know when signing up for medicare: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/turning-65-what-you-need-to-know-about-signing-up-for-medicare–8968