Alternatives to Medicare Cost Plans

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 10/06/2018

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A Medicare Cost Plan is a Medicare health plan available in certain areas of the country. Medicare Cost Plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare and may provide medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage. If your Medicare Cost Plan is being discontinued, you have alternative ways to get Medicare coverage.

When your Medicare Cost Plan ends, you may have a special election period that allows you to enroll in alternative coverage. During this special election period you can chose between

  • Original Medicare with stand-alone prescription drug coverage
  • another Medicare Cost Plan
  • a Medicare Advantage plan.

If you do not enroll in any Medicare plan by the end of the special election period, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare without prescription drug coverage.

What is Original Medicare?

Original Medicare is one alternative to a Medicare Cost Plan. Original Medicare is hospital and medical insurance administered by the government. Part A covers hospital care and Part B covers medical care. Original Medicare generally does not cover prescription drugs you take at home, nor routine vision, nor hearing. Learn about the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is another alternative to a Medicare Cost Plan. Medicare Advantage is like a Medicare Cost Plan in the way that it is administered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans often offer benefits that Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover, such as prescription drug coverage, vision coverage, and hearing coverage. With Medicare Advantage plan, you still have to pay your Part B premiums. Learn about the benefits of Medicare Advantage over Original Medicare.

Are there other alternatives to a Medicare Cost Plan?

There are ways to get Medicare coverage in addition to Original Medicare.

You may have heard of Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage offered by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. You can get a stand-alone Part D Prescription Drug Plan to go alongside Original Medicare.

You may have also heard of Medicare Supplement Insurance. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans cover out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as coinsurance, copayments and deductibles.

Do you have more questions about Medicare Cost Plans?

I can help you understand your options. I’m happy to set aside time for a phone discussion or send you an email containing plans that could work for you; the links for those are below, too. To start comparing Medicare Advantage plans now, click the Compare Plans buttons on this page.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

Benefits, premiums and/or copayments/co-insurance] may change on January 1 of each year.

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