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

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

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated Feb 6, 2021.)  Website operated by former employees. Comments welcome. Do not send personal information to us. 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 2022" 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 2022" 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"

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."

Changing between Medigap and 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

If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. Membership is also open to heirs with HP-related stock and to those receiving company benefits -- spouses, partners, dependents, DEC and EDS retirees. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.

As financial, legal, and personal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and finances and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided here should be used as a substitute for the personalized advice of competent financial, legal, and personal advisors.

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