Medicare can be confusing, and we’re here to help by exploring the differences between Traditional Medicare (TM) and Medicare Advantage (MA).

Traditional Medicare, the original program dating back to 1965, requires monthly premiums based on income. It allows participants to see almost any doctor or visit any hospital in the country. While it covers most costs, many people elect to purchase extra insurance, like "Medigap" policies for additional support. Traditional Medicare also offers prescription drug coverage (Part D), but must be purchased separately.

Medicare Advantage, introduced in the late 1990s, operates as a managed care plan. It may have a smaller network of providers and might limit certain medical services. In return, the premiums can be lower and offer extra benefits like dental, vision, and fitness programs.

Big insurers like Humana are making Medicare Advantage a priority due to its profitability to the insurance company. In 2022, 48% of beneficiaries opted for Medicare Advantage over Traditional Medicare. However, it was estimated that Medicare Advantage plans cost the government $321 more per person per year in 2019 than Traditional Medicare, costs paid for by taxes.

Which option is best? Traditional Medicare offers more provider choice and uniform benefits, while Medicare Advantage provides extra perks.

Experts suggest that improving Traditional Medicare might be a better alternative than paying high rates to insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans.

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Those who sign up for coverage through kynect on or before December 15th will have a coverage start date of January 1st while those who sign up after will have a coverage start date of February 1st.

If the options for health care coverage are confusing, or the terminology seems like a bunch of alphabet soup, we have created an online resource to help.

Click here to explore the different types of health care coverage as well as our glossary of common terms for health care coverage.

If there is someone who could benefit from this information, please forward them this email and encourage them to sign up for our newsletter.

The Asclepius Initiative is proud to be part of the 25th annual Kentucky Rural Health Association Conference, happening November 16th and 17th in Bowling Green.

In addition to exhibiting at the conference, our CEO Dr. Susan Bornstein and Educator Kerry Isham will be presenting a breakout session on day two titled “Health Care Coverage in Kentucky and the US: Where We Are, Where We Need to Be, and How These Impact Patient Care”. Stop by our table to say hi and learn even more by attending the breakout session.

The Asclepius Initiative is now part of Kroger’s Community Rewards program. Just select TAI as the charity of choice and a portion of the receipt will be donated to TAI each time the Kroger Plus Card is used.

Signing up is quick and only has to be done once.

1. Go to

2. Sign into using current login information or the number on the back of the card         

3. Select TAI as the organization: search for us by name or by using our code, DG163

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