“Original Medicare,” or Medicare Advantage: Two different things
“Original Medicare” refers to the Medicare coverage which existed prior to the advent of plans known as “Medicare Advantage.” Original Medicare is a program which is provided by the Federal Government, and includes coverage for hospitalization (known as Part A), and doctors and outpatient services (known as Part B). On the other hand, “Medicare Advantage” plans aren’t provided by the Federal Government but rather by private insurance carriers who must follow Federal guidelines about the coverage they can offer, but usually restrict participants to using healthcare services from “in-network” providers to get the most cost efficient coverage. This compares to original Medicare, which allows beneficiaries to use any healthcare provider which accepts Medicare (nearly all providers in the nation). While that’s a fairly simplistic explanation of the differences, this Forbes article by Gregory Gurbikian explains the distinctions between “original Medicare” and “Medicare Advantage” in great detail and in easy to understand terms which should help everyone know the difference between these two commonly misunderstood healthcare options for seniors. Click here to read more.