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What are the different types of Medicare?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

There are two types of Medicare: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Here’s how they differ.

Original Medicare provides more choices of plans. You choose the doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers and pay your own deductibles and coinsurance (the amount you pay after meeting your deductible). Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, and Part B is medical insurance (for paying for doctors and some others for covered services). Original Medicare is run by the government and government subcontractors.

Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, requires you to choose a specific plan from a private insurance company approved by Medicare. Most times you must use the plan doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers. They are paid directly for your care.

Medicare Advantage provides at least the same coverage as Part A and Part B (save choice), but you may even have extra coverage for things like vision, hearing, health clubs, or dental services. You can add a prescription drug plan to both types of Medicare.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.