The Original Medicare only covers hospital and medical insurance. To get prescription drug coverage, a standalone Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan must be purchased. In either way, you’re going to need prescription drug coverage.
While Part D only adds prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage Plans can include other services like dental, vision, and hearing. If you want to be fully covered, we strongly recommend purchasing a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans come in various forms and coverage types. Generally, there is not going to be a significant difference between a private health insurance and Medicare Advantage Plan. There are HMOs and PPOs just like any other private health insurance.
With that being said, you are going to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through a health insurance company like Aetna or UnitedHealthcare. As for the premiums, the cost is going to be significantly less than a fully private health insurance. This is due to the low cost of hospital and medical insurance coming from Original Medicare.
Standalone Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)
On the other hand, you have the option to enroll in Part D. This is a simple and easy process that should take you about ten minutes to complete. First and foremost, head over to the Medicare Plan Finder or the prescription drug coverage plan of your choice. Fill out the enrollment form and verify your information. Then, call Centers for Medicare and Medicaid by dialing 1-800-633-4227.
If you chose your plan through a health insurance company, all this process must be done through their website. Sometimes, you are not required to call but a customer representative is may call you to verify the information on the enrollment form(s).
Since the average monthly premium is around $30 to $40 a month nationwide, we suggest enrolling in Part D instead of a Medicare Advantage Plan if prescription drug coverage is all you need.