Chapter 9

Making Sense of Medicare’s Many Options

In This Chapter

arrow Acknowledging that your first choice determines later ones

arrow Grasping the differences between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans

arrow Understanding the differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantage

It always amuses me, in a grim kind of way, when I hear politicians talk about Medicare as a “one-size-fits-all” system. Using that tired old phrase is an instant giveaway of their total ignorance of how the program works. Just imagine if Medicare were a one-size-fits-all system. It would be far simpler to navigate and understand, with no need for long explanations. I sure wouldn’t be taking 300+ pages to untangle it in this book!

But, in fact, Medicare offers many different options. Of course, it’s that range of choice that causes so many people to become utterly baffled and lost in the weeds, with the result that many blindly make decisions that aren’t in their best interests. Nonetheless, choices do allow you to tailor your coverage to your own particular needs as long as you know how to evaluate them.

In this chapter, I explain how Medicare is broadly divided into two completely different systems for delivering ...

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