You can also enroll at any time in plans with five-star ratings. But only 15 Medicare Advantage plans — 11 that come with prescription drug coverage and four without it — attained that ranking for 2013. These plans are scattered around the country in California, Minnesota and Ohio, among other states.
5. None of this sounds appealing. What can you tell me about Medicare supplement policies?
Medicare supplement, or Medigap, policies may be an option for seniors who want to drop their Medicare Advantage policies for original Medicare, which covers care like hospital stays and doctor visits with the government paying the care provider directly.
Medigap policies are sold by insurers and generally cover deductibles and other costs not covered by original Medicare. Their coverage usually doesn’t extend to extras like vision or dental care offered with some Medicare Advantage plans.
Premiums for Medigap policies usually are higher than those for Medicare Advantage plans, but they can lead to lower out-of-pocket costs.
Switching from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare with Medigap coverage can be tricky, with enrollment windows varying by state. Berger recommends applying for the new coverage and making sure you have it before canceling your old policy.