Decide you if you want Original Medicare (Parts A and B) together with a Medicare Supplement Plan (aka Medigap plan). If you choose this option, you must get a stand-alone prescription drug plan (aka Part D) OR a Medicare Advantage Plan (aka Part C). Most Medicare Advantage Plans are combined with prescription drug coverage. You CANNOT have both a Medicare Supplement Plan and a Medicare Advantage Plan.
What is the difference between a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare Supplement Plan (aka Medigap Plans):
These plans are precisely what the name infers. Medicare supplement plans fill in the gap between your original Medicare (Parts A and B). Part B covers 80% of your medical/doctor insurance and then the Medicare Supplement Plans covers the remaining 20% - giving you 100% coverage. There are no networks in a Medicare Supplement Plan. You may choose any doctor who accepts Medicare. These plans are NOT subject to the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15th - December 7th of every year). Your Medicare Supplement Plan will renew each year unless you decide to enroll in another plan. These plans may have a higher monthly premium than a Medicare Advantage Plan, but lower out-of-pocket costs. You must enroll in a stand alone prescription drug plan if you choose a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Medicare Advantage Plans (aka Part C):
These plans are network plans. They are usually HMO, PPO, and POS plans. The premiums on these plans can be $0. However, you can have higher out-of-pocket costs in these plans. These are costs that limit how much members pay out-of-pocket. The maximum out-of-pocket limit in 2019 is $6,700 for in-network services and higher for out-of-network services.