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Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare Supplement and Advantage Plans

If you are close to the age of 65 then you have probably been researching all ofthe benefits associated with Medicare health insurance. Because there are so many different plans with many advantages, it may be very difficult to decide what plan best fits your needs.

The Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) is one of four different parts of the Medicare health care system. This plan allows those with Medicare parts A and B to receive coverage from a private insurance company that is government-approved. Medicare Advantage Plans consist of plans such as Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. The largest and most well-known weakness of the original Medicare plan is that is does not cover the cost of prescription drugs. So, if you would like coverage for prescription drugs then you have a few options to choose from.

The Medicare Part D plan is obtainable to anyone who has original Medicare (Parts A and B). This plan is designed to provide coverage for the costs of prescription drugs. This plan is available through private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. If you have a supplemental Medicare insurance policy (Medigap), it may actually cover prescription drug costs. If it does not, then you can obtain a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan with Medicare Part D, but you must notify your insurance company if you choose to do so. It is also important to know what benefits your plan covers because supplemental Medicare plans will not always cover prescription drug costs.

Consider Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) if you decide not to use Medicare Part D, or supplemental Medicare insurance. At an additional cost, these plans may offer prescription drug coverage through private insurance companies. So, if you obtain one of these plans then supplemental Medicare insurance will only be an alternative. Remember to check for additional coverage choices in your coverage history from past employers. You may have more options if your current or previous employer provided you with prescription drug coverage.

If you already own a Medicare Advantage Plan then it is not necessary to purchase a supplemental Medicare plan. Unless you completely drop the Medigap plan and use the original Medicare, it is illegal to purchase a supplemental plan. In addition, it is very difficult to get a supplemental plan in the future if you ever drop it, so be very careful. Before you ever make a decision that could affect your long-term health coverage, always discuss these issues with your insurance company or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

As you age, getting prescription drug coverage is always going to be an important component in any health coverage plan. Because you never know what health situations may arise, it is very important to choose a plan that covers prescription drug costs. So, if you choose Medicare insurance or a Medicare Advantage Plan, make sure to have some form of prescription drug coverage so you will be prepared for any medical situation.

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