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Transcript: "Choosing How to Get Your Medicare Coverage"

Announcer: The Newman family is sitting around the family computer. They are the father, Dan, 65 years old, his wife Jean, their son Mark, and daughter-in-law, Beth. Dan recently became entitled to Medicare. He and his family are discussing the Medicare program and some resources on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov to help Dan understand his Medicare options.

Dan: I know about Medicare Part A and Part B. But the booklet says I have other options including Original Medicare. What I want to know about are the other two parts of Medicare: Medicare Advantage Part C, and Part D.

Mark: Beth, can you go to that part of the website and show him where to find the information?

Beth: Oh sure. Alright, let's go back to www.medicare.gov and look at your choices and how you get your Medicare coverage.

Announcer: People with Medicare can choose different ways to get their Medicare coverage. Original Medicare, also referred to as fee-for-service, allows you to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. Original Medicare pays for many health care services and supplies, but it doesn't pay for all of your health care costs. Generally there is a copayment and a deductible. People in Original Medicare might want to consider buying a Medigap Policy, which is a private health care supplement insurance to cover these costs, or gaps, in Medicare coverage. Another choice might be Medicare Advantage Plans. These are health plan options like HMOs and PPOs approved by Medicare and run by private companies. Medicare Advantage Plans are part of the Medicare program and are sometimes called Part C or MA plans. The MA plans provide all of your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. These plans generally offer extra benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental and most include Medicare prescription drug coverage. Plans can charge different copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles for these services. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered in many areas of the country by private companies that sign a contract with Medicare. You may have to see doctors who belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get covered services. Medicare Advantage Plans are available to most people with Medicare. To be eligible to join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must live in the plan's geographic service area or continuation area, have Medicare Part A and Part B, not have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). People with ESRD usually can't join a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare plans. However, there are some exceptions.

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