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1. Medicare Decoder    2. Basics    3. Advantage vs. Original    4. Compare Plans    5. Via HPInc/HPE    6. Trouble; Contacts


3. Advantage vs. Original Medicare  (Whether or not receiving benefits from or subsidized by HP/HPInc or HPE.)

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated Feb 6, 2021.)  Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org

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

The primary source on this issue is the official "Medicare & You" booklet. It is well done.

Even if you are only interested in Advantage or Medigap plans, go through the sections in order.

You can download the "Medicare & You" booklet from the official Medicare.gov site. https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf 

Even if you have a paper copy, much easier to use if you download the current copy and use Adobe Reader's search feature to find specific words or phrases. (To search for a word or phrase in a pdf file, press Ctrl and F together on a PC -- or Command and F on a Mac.) The pdf file is very well done --terms, phrases, and issues are hotlinked to sections in the booklet or to other articles on the site.

Official Medicare articles on Advantage vs. Original Medicare:

"Things to know about Medicare Advantage Plans"
https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/types-of-medicare-health-plans/things-to-know-about-medicare-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"
https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/how-medicare-works-with-other-insurance

"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."
https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap/guaranteed-issue-rights

Changing between Medigap and Advantage plans
https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap/medigap-medicare-advantage-plans

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.]

Member advice

Original Medicare + Part D: "For Part D plans, do your research on the official Medicare site: https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/ -- and on the web sites of the plans that interest you. Always generate a drug cost for the pharmacy that you prefer to use. Take Aon's drug costs with a grain of salt. If they happen to agree with Medicare and the plan, then trust them. Otherwise, ignore them. If you run the numbers early in the enrollment period, consider rerunning them later, because things can change."

If you have found an especially helpful article on the medicare.gov site, please pass the word to info@hpalumni.org

Next step: 4. Compare plans


For more mutual help on this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of HP, HPInc, or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.


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