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Understanding Your Options Before Enrolling in Medicare Online

The convenience of enrolling in Medicare online doesn’t necessarily make Medicare plans easier to understand. That’s why we want to share some basics that’ll help prepare you for Medicare online enrollment.

Original Medicare

All Medicare beneficiaries must have Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, before enrolling in other Medicare plans online. Since Medicare Parts A and B only cover inpatient hospital and outpatient doctor care and services, and neither covers prescription drug coverage, many individuals choose alternatives that provide important benefits not covered with Original Medicare. It’s also important to know that you may be penalized for not having prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by insurance companies that are contracted with the federal Medicare program. These plans provide the same coverage as Medicare Parts A and B, and typically offer additional benefits as well.

Types of Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans fall into several major categories:

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): coverage offered through a network of approved healthcare providers.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): costs are lower with the providers in a plan’s network. Coverage for out-of-network care provided at a higher cost.

Private Fee-For-Service Plans (PFFS): care covered with any provider who agrees to treat you under the plan’s terms.

Special Needs Plans (SNPs): available for people with specific healthcare needs. SNPs typically have a network of providers and must include prescription drug coverage.

Benefits

In addition to covering everything that’s included in Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage Plans offer important benefits like:

  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Hearing
  • Fitness
  • Wellness
  • & more!
Costs

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Costs for Medicare Advantage Plans include premiums, deductibles, and copays starting as low as $0.

Part D Plans (Prescription Drug Coverage)

Original Medicare doesn’t include coverage for prescription drugs, which is a major healthcare expense for many people. You can get prescription drug coverage through Part D Plans, which are dedicated exclusively to this type of coverage. Each plan has a formulary—a list of the covered drugs and their prices.

Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MA-PD)

Some Medicare Advantage Plans also offer prescription drug coverage, making it easy to get your Parts A, B, and D coverage in one plan, along with additional benefits. With the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal, you can enter your current prescriptions and compare plans based on your specific needs.

Enroll in Medicare Online

Find Medicare Advantage Plans in your area, conveniently compare their costs and benefits, then easily enroll online all with the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal. This secure online tool is one more way we’re working to make Medicare easier for you.

If you have any questions about Medicare plans or enrolling in Medicare, our Medicare Advocates are standing by to assist you. Just call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, Monday to Friday for your no-cost personal consultation.

Medicare Online Resources

3 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Enrolling in Medicare Online
5 Ways to Make Medicare Advantage Online Enrollment Super Easy
Is it safe to get Medicare quotes online?