Choosing a Medicare plan that is right for you is an important, but often confusing, decision for anyone retiring or turning 65. Let us help you navigate. Original Medicare provides the foundation of your health benefits.

Original Medicare is made up of Part A and Part B and is usually paired with Part D. Part C is not part of Original Medicare and is most commonly called Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage plans can take the place of Original Medicare and supplemental plans. Under this plan, a private insurance company takes the place of Original Medicare. These plans are regulated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) but can vary greatly from county to county, and plan to plan.

Supplemental coverage can be used with Original Medicare to eliminate any gaps in coverage. These supplemental plans are commonly called Medigap insurance policies, or Medicare Supplemental policies. The CMS has standardized these plans. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies.

Part D Plans provide coverage for prescription medications. It is very important to match a plan to your exact medications because all plans do not cover all medications equally. Check out Medicare’s Plan Finder.

Did you know Medicare’s statute explicitly excludes coverage for custodial care – the assistance with basic activities of living (such as bathing, dressing and eating) – that defines long term care?