Medicare Your Coverage Options

If you want easy health care access and good quality care, you probably want traditional Medicare

Written by Diane Archer

You’ve probably been told that each Medicare health plan is different and that you need to “pick the health plan that’s right for you,” based on your health care needs.  Of course, everyone has different budgets and different concerns.  But, there’s absolutely no way to know whether a private Medicare Advantage plan with a limited network of doctors and hospitals will meet your unforeseeable care needs—the care you want at a price you can afford from doctors and hospitals you want to use.

Traditional Medicare with supplemental coverage, if you can afford the cost, offers the greatest choice of doctors and hospitals anywhere in America and allows you to budget for your health care. With a Medicare Advantage plan, if you need costly services you could end up spending as much as $6700 out of pocket for in-network services.  And, if the doctors and hospitals you want to use are out of network, you could end up spending far more. (Here are four things to think about when choosing between traditional Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan.)

new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the literature comparing access and quality in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. The data is limited.  But, not surprisingly, data from people with complex and costly conditions rate the private Medicare Advantage plans “substantially lower” than traditional Medicare on access and quality.

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