FILLING THE GAP IN MEDICARE COVERAGE
By registering for Medicare Parts A & B on SSA.gov, you will have coverage for 80 percent of doctor costs and all but $1,160 in hospital costs (in 2023).
If you want insurance coverage for the costs not covered by Medicare Parts A & B (Original Medicare) you must either:
Enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (MediGap)
Or switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
*NOTE ON TIMING: in most cases, you must choose an option between 3 months before and/or 3 months after you turn 65 (or during designated open enrollment).
MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT VS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS
To help cover the costs that Medicare does not cover, most people look for additional private insurance to fill the gap.
You have two choices:
Stick with Original Medicare A&B and purchase a separate Medicare Supplement Plan (also known as a Medigap plan). In this scenario, you will also want to purchase a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
Leave Medicare and instead join a Medicare Advantage Plan like the ones you see advertised by some of your favorite childhood stars.
Before making this decision, you need to consider:
Out of Pocket costs - meaning the extra costs you will have to pay above your premiums
Whether you expect to need care from a specialized medical facility that may be outside of your network or immediate geography
Understand that once you choose a medicare advantage plan, you may be unable to purchase a supplement plan in the future based on your answers to the insurer’s medical questionnaire