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Medicare Info's Mission

Because of the significant amount of out-of-pocket payments required by traditional Medicare, a booming market of private-sector insurance products has grown up around the government programs. These Medicare-related insurance products are one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. health insurance industry overall. And they are the part of the market on which a smart consumer should focus his or her attention. Medicare Info's mission is to help seniors understand these products and provide tools to assist in the decision making process.

The market for private-sector Medicare-related coverages can be described as including :

Medicare Supplemental Plans
Sometimes called "Medigap" insurance, though some industry professionals don't like that term - which, to various degrees, cover the things traditional Medicare doesn't. They help pay for "gaps" in Original Medicare and include minimal standard coverages. They offfer different enhanced coverages and are approved by each state they are offered.
Medicare Part C Plans
Replaces traditional Medicare with any of several managed-care style programs that require little or no out-of-pocket payments. They work like an HMO or PPO health plans. They limit out-of-pocket expenses every year and require you to stay in-network for services that sometimes include drug coverage.
Medicare Part D plans
Covers the cost of outpatient prescription drugs - and supplement either traditional Medicare or, in some cases, a Part C managed care plan. They have a Formulary or List of Covered Drugs. Only Formulary drugs count as out-of-pocket. They Include three levels of covered expenses. Sometimes included in Medicare Advantage.

In order to qualify for most Medicare-related plans, you must meet the standard Medicare eligibility requirements and live in the "geographic service area." Medicare-related plans are regulated by each state and approved for sale within geographic service areas. In most cases, these areas are organized on a county-by-county basis; in some large urban markets, they're organized on a city or even neighborhood basis. If you move out of your geographic service area during a plan's coverage term, you will usually have a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to enroll in another Medicare-related plan approved for sale in your new location or switch to back to traditional Medicare.

The number of Medicare Supplement, Part C and Part D plans available in a given area can be overwhelming. In some counties, there are at least 380 Supplement and Part C options available and at least 64 Part D prescription drug options - meaning you have a "menu" of over 400 plans from which to choose.