Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage

Picking the Right Option

There are typically 2 main ways of getting Medicare coverage—Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Here are some important reminders.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B)

  • Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
  • If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a separate Part D plan.
  • Can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.

Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C)

  • Medicare Advantage is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.
  • Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
  • In most cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.
  • Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover— like vision, hearing, dental, and more.
  • Each year, Medicare Advantage Plans can choose to leave Medicare or make changes to the services they cover and what you pay. If the plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, you’ll have to join another Medicare Advantage Plan or return to Original Medicare.

Side by Side Analysis

For an easy comparison of Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, review the following table:

For additional help comparing Original Medicare and the available Medicare Advantage plans in your service area, call us at the Medicare Comparison helpline (866-391-7763, TTY 711 M-F 6am-5pm Pacific) to speak to a licensed insurance agent who is specially trained to help you understand your Medicare options, or request assistance here: medicarecompareusa.com/speak-with-an-agent