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Original Medicare
One way to receive Medicare benefits is to enroll in Original Medicare, or Parts A and B. Original Medicare is managed by the federal government and provides hospital and medical insurance. However, because there is limited coverage, no out-of-pocket maximum, and no Prescription drug plan included, there are other alternatives in order to receive coverage. One of these alternatives is enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If you decide to stay with Original Medicare, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in order to cover the costs that Original Medicare does not. For prescription needs, you can also enroll in a Part D plan to cover drug costs.

Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part C of Medicare, include all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B. It is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies and is an alternative to original Medicare. To receive Part C benefits, you must be enrolled in Part A and B. Medicare Advantage plans usually include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you cannot enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan. However, if your Medicare Advantage Plan does not include drug coverage, you can enroll in a separate Part D plan.