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3. Decision: Advantage vs. Original Medicare.  (Whether or not receiving benefits from -- or subsidized by -- HP or HPE.)

The major decision is between Medicare Advantage vs. Original Medicare + Medigap + Drug.

The most helpful explanation of the Original vs Advantage issue: pages 11-12 of the very clear, official "Medicare & You 2024" book. A table detailing the point-by-point differences between Original and Advantage.

Even if you have a paper copy, much easier to use "Medicare & You" if you download the current pdf file. Terms and page numbers are hotlinked to sections in the book. Use Adobe Reader's search feature to find specific words or phrases (Ctrl-F; Command-F on a Mac.)
Download the book here: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf

Official Medicare articles on Advantage vs. Original Medicare:

"Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans" Very clear official booklet.

Limitations on changing between Medigap and Advantage plans.

Medigap: "How Medicare works with other insurance" COBRA, "4 things to find out about your retiree coverage"  "Buy a policy when you're first eligible" "Medigap & travel"

"Guaranteed issue rights" -- when insurance companies "...must sell you a Medigap policy, must cover all your pre-existing health conditions, and can't charge you more because of past or present health problems."

AARP article: "The Big Choice: Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage"
https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-2020/original-medicare-vs-advantage.html  [AARP membership not required.]

Consumer Reports article Nov 3, 2022: "Popular Advantage plans come with some risks. Here’s how to weigh your options."
https://www.consumerreports.org/medicare/pros-and-cons-of-medicare-advantage-a6834167849/  [Consumer Reports subscription not required.]
Note that the references to "Kaiser" in the article are to the KFF, the nonprofit healthcare research foundation endowed by heirs of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. (No connection with Kaiser Permanente. Often criticizes Kaiser's current practices as not being in line with the founder's intentions.)

Next step:

either 4. Medicare not involving HP or HPE  If not receiving Medicare benefits from -- or subsidized by -- HP or HPE.

or      5. Medicare via HP or HPE  If receiving Medicare benefits from -- or subsidized by -- HP or HPE.

Advice and reference info from members. (Mar 27, 2024)  Website operated by volunteers. Not officially endorsed or supported. Question? Email: info@hpalumni.org

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