The good, the bad and the ugly of picking Medicare Advantage plans

Nearly half of all new Medicare enrollees are signing up for Medicare Advantage plans, which now account for about 35 percent of the entire Medicare market.

The other 65 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are in what’s called original Medicare, which consists of Part A (hospital, nursing home) and Part B (doctors, equipment, outpatient expenses). Those patients usually have a private Part D drug plan, and a quarter have a private Medigap supplement policy.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must cover everything that original Medicare covers, and they can’t discriminate against people who are ill or have preexisting conditions. Anyone, regardless of their health, can get an MA plan or switch to one during open enrollment, which continues through Dec. 7.

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How U.S. News Picked the Best Medicare Plans for 2018

If you’re on Medicare or are a caregiver for someone who is, the U.S. News Best Medicare Plans site can help you navigate the options and get the right medical coverage. These guides can help you decide whether Original Medicare is the best option or whether to look at Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private insurance companies to provide Medicare coverage, or to consider adding a prescription plan or a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan instead. It’s important to look at the monthly premiums of a Medicare Advantage plan versus Medicare Supplement Insurance and whether your doctors and hospitals are in-network, among other factors. Plus, we provide guidance on choosing a stand-alone prescription drug plan that works alongside your Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.

We’ve also evaluated all insurance companies and the plans they offer in your state. Best Medicare Advantage Plans and Best Medicare Part D Plans highlight these top-performing insurance companies.

Full story at US News Health