Understanding Medicare options to help make confident decisions

Understanding Medicare options to help make confident decisions
September 29
10:19 2020

By Cameron Farmer

Whether you are turning 65 years old and new to Medicare, or have been eligible for years, it can be overwhelming to try and decipher what options are best for your health care situation.  Understanding the Medicare program and all of its benefits will give you peace of mind about your health insurance coverage decisions so you can focus on enjoying your retirement years.

Medicare is a federal government program that provides health insurance for people who are 65 or older or people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities or health conditions. The program is divided into four parts:

Part A – Provides coverage for inpatient and hospital care.

Part B – Provides coverage for doctors and outpatient services.

Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) – Typically covers Parts A, B, and D with one bundled insurance policy for all Medicare coverage.

Part D (Prescription Drug Plans) – Provides coverage for the cost of your medications.

Many people automatically get “original” Medicare (Parts A & B) when they become eligible, and most others will have the option to enroll when they turn 65. However, even if you enroll in both Parts A and B, it’s important to know that original Medicare doesn’t cover everything. The good news is that you can substitute your original Medicare coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan for more comprehensive coverage, or add on to your original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement and a Prescription Drug plan.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are offered by private health insurance companies that work with Medicare to provide your Part A and Part B benefits and are usually bundled with a prescription drug plan. Some MA plans offer extra coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services. Often these plans are offered with $0 premiums and have varying benefit levels to best fit your individual situation. Here in N.C., some of the large insurance carriers offering MA plans include Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare.

Medicare Supplement plans are also an option to cover the gaps left by original Medicare. These plans do not replace your original Medicare coverage, but offer assistance for the portion not covered by Medicare. In addition, original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, but you can also purchase a prescription drug plan.

Confused? Have no fear! There are agents in Winston-Salem that can assist you in evaluating your situation to make sure your questions are answered. They provide consultations at no cost to you (ever!) and are happy to help. Medicare’s annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and continues until Dec. 7. If you are already enrolled in Medicare, you can make changes to your plan during this time.

Before making important decisions about your Medicare coverage, it is wise to take the time to review your options and consult with a knowledgeable agent.  

Cameron Farmer is a licensed agent with Savers Health. Cameron has lived in Winston-Salem for more than 20 years and graduated from Wake Forest University. If you have questions or need more information, reach Cameron at Savers Health at 336-831-9121 or visit 

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors