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 Medicare Part B)

  • Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).
  • If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a separate Medicare Part D Prescription Drug 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 way to get your Original Medicare benefits. These “bundled” plans include Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and usually Medicare Part D.
  • Plans may have different costs than Original Medicare.
  • In most cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plan’s network.
  • 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.

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 9am-5pm) to speak to a licensed insurance agent who is specially trained to help you understand your Medicare insurance options, or request assistance here: medicarecompareusa.com/speak-with-an-agent