What is Medicare and how does it work?
Medicare is the largest health insurance program offered by the U.S. government, serving more than 59 million Americans.1
There are two main ways to get Medicare coverage:
- Get Original Medicare from the U.S. government and buy additional coverage as needed
- Opt for a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan from a private insurer
MA plans are required to provide coverage that, at minimum, matches the coverage provided by Original Medicare.
- 2018 , opens new window
Original Medicare options
Medicare Part A and Part B
Medicare Parts A & B are covered through the federal government and include hospital (Part A) and medical (Part B) benefits.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is a prescription drug plan, offered through a private insurer like Humana.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans A, B, C, F, G, K, L, & N
Medicare supplement plans, also offered through private insurers, are for those who want to supplement their Original Medicare Parts A & B.
Medicare Advantage – Medicare Part C
Offered by private insurers, all Medicare Advantage (MA) plans include hospital and medical coverage. Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans combine hospital, medical AND prescription drug coverage in one easy-to-manage plan.
Instead of paying doctors, hospitals and other providers directly, the federal government pays private insurers like Humana to administer your plan.
Private insurers compete for your business by offering extra programs and resources at no additional cost to members.
For example, Humana Medicare Advantage plans include:
- HumanaFirst® Nurse Advice Line – registered nurses are available by phone 24/7
- Caregiver support – resources for those who care for others
- Mail-delivery pharmacy – offering convenience and potential savings
- SilverSneakers Fitness Program – offering access to over 13,000 fitness centers nationwide to help you get and stay in shape
Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage?
Choosing the plan that’s right for you
Begin by thinking about your recent health and healthcare history to help identify what you want and need most from your Medicare plan.
Consider these important factors as you begin making your decision:
- Your doctor
Do you want to keep your current doctor? Does he or she accept Medicare patients?
- Your prescriptions
Do you take prescription drugs every day? Sometimes? Hardly ever?
- Your budget
Do you prefer a slightly higher premium – but more predictable costs overall?
Are you interested in extras like fitness programs or phone access to a registered nurse any time of day?
Are you planning to travel and want a plan that provides coverage when you’re away?
Need help choosing a plan?
Read our free PDF* booklet, , PDF opens new window for more information about the options, costs, and features of different Medicare plans. There is no obligation to enroll.
See plans in your area
Enter your ZIP code below to see plans with their premiums, copays, and participating doctors and pharmacies