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Choosing the Medicare Path That’s Right for You

Most people have a choice of dozens of Medicare plans available in their area. But before you start comparing the options to find one that’s a good fit for your needs, you first need to decide which Medicare “path” you’d prefer.

Some people opt for Original Medicare on its own. Others add a Medicare supplement plan and/or a Part D prescription drug plan to Original Medicare. But a growing number of people are choosing an all-in-one option: Medicare Advantage. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has increased more than 50 percent in recent years, with more than one in three Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled. One of the primary reasons? Medicare Advantage plans usually provide more benefits than you’ll find with Original Medicare as well as predictable out-of-pocket costs, often for a lower monthly premium than other Medicare options. That combination makes them a great value for many people.

The decision about which path to take will come down to your personal needs and preferences, and it’s not an easy one to make. For many people, it helps to understand the costs associated with each path. Use the infographic below to get an idea of what to expect in terms of costs and coverage. Once you’ve made up your mind on the path that’s right for you, the Plan Finder on Medicare.gov can help you compare plans in your area to find coverage that will meet your needs.

Infographic: Explanation of different Medicare plans