What is the difference between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

‘Original Medicare’ refers to Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage), both of which are managed by the federal government. Medicare Advantage is a different way to get your Part A and Part B coverage because it is managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.

When deciding whether to enroll in Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage, consider the advantages of each as they apply to your situation, your budget and health needs. Remember that Original Medicare does not include Part D prescription drug coverage. To add Part D coverage, you will need to enroll in a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan such as those offered by SilverScript (PDP). You may also add prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan when that is an available option.

Return to the Medicare FAQ section to view more answers to other commonly asked questions about Medicare prescription drug coverage.