The Annual Enrollment Period for selecting Medicare options is ongoing.

Medicare coverage decisions can only occur during the period from October 15 to December 7 of each year. The “Special Election Periods” allow, under specific circumstances, changes during other parts of the year.

The annual application period receives much attention, advertising from insurance companies and comments on what is at stake?

The government provides Medicare services in part A and part B. Private insurance companies sell supplemental insurance to cover many of the costs that part A and part B do not cover and part D drug coverage.

Private insurance companies also offer Part C “Medicare Advantage” plans. They offer original Medicare services; Often with other benefits.

This will not examine the details of all options. We discuss here the choice between the original Medicare options and the Medicare Advantage options. The conclusion is the possible direct costs that a person must bear in any case.

Original Medicare has awards for Part B and any supplemental policies purchased. However, there are fewer copays and coinsurance. Medicare Advantage plans usually have much lower monthly premiums, but generally higher co-payments and reinsurance; but there are maximum “total expenses” expenses to protect against higher hospitalization expenses and other causes. To choose to use Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans request a projection of the amount of medical care needed.

Original Medicare is generally best suited for those who expect to need more medical services. Although the premium is higher than most Medicare Advantage plans, lower co-pay and co-insurance costs may make the best bet. If you feel you do not need much medical attention, a Medicare Advantage plan may be the best option. The lowest award saves money on Original Medicare Part B and a complementary policy; and there is a limit if you need more medical attention than expected. In addition, Medicare Advantage Plans often offer additional benefits, such as vision or dental services, that Original Medicare does not have.

Trying to calculate possible cost differences is, by itself, trying. But the general principles are a good guide on what to consider. If it is clear that a lot of medical attention is needed, original Medicare planning should be considered. When little medical attention is expected, a Medicare Advantage plan may have the advantage of a lower monthly premium; But perhaps some additional benefits.

Cost is always important. However, if you have doctors and other favorite providers, make sure they are on the network of any Medicare Advantage plan.