Medicare allows you to choose the way you receive your benefits. Newly eligible seniors are enrolled automatically in the Original Medicare Plan, which is the traditional payment-per-service arrangement. If you want to stay with the Original Medicare Plan, you don't have to do anything. The basic benefits of this plan are described below.
Starting in 1999, Medicare offers more ways to receive your benefits through other health plan choices. Choices that may be available in your area include Medicare Managed Care Plans, such as Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, or Provider Sponsored Organizations. In addition, Private Fee-For-Service Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans may be available in your area. One of the new health plan choices might be right for you. The choice is yours. No matter what you decide, you are still in the Medicare program.
Your copy of Medicare & You will explain the Original Medicare Plan and other Medicare health plans in detail. It also will explain how to enroll in other health plan options, if you are interested. If you don't have a computer, your local public library or senior center may be able to help you find this information.
All Medicare health plans must provide at least the basic Medicare covered services.