4 Best Medicare Alternatives

What are the Medicare Alternatives – Overview

If you are eligible for Medicare, you should not rush to enroll. There are plenty of Medicare alternatives.

These include employer-sponsored group health insurance coverage plans, Veteran benefits, TRICARE, and even the Indian Health Services.

Experts also call Medicare Advantage one of the best Medicare alternatives.

Let’s check out some possibilities and choices regarding Medicare alternatives.

1. Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage

If you are eligible for the premium-free Medicare Part A, then it makes complete sense to enroll in it.

However, if we talk about Medicare Part B, you can delay enrollment if your employer provides health insurance through creditable coverage plans.

You can keep your employer-sponsored group health insurance plans until you are employed. The employer, not Medicare, provides employer-sponsored group health insurance plans.

The employer’s insurance is primary if your company has 20 or more employees. For companies with fewer than 20 employees, Medicare can be primary.

Companies with less than 20 employees can seek small business group insurance.

Medicare considers most employer coverage creditable for Part B; the penalty applies if you delay Part B enrollment without creditable coverage. You could also face a Medical Part B penalty if you fail to enroll in time.

It is crucial to compare Medigap and Medicare Part B premiums with your employer’s deductions from your paycheck.

You should count the cost of medications, co-payments, and deductibles in this. Also, consider the costs and coverage benefits of Medicare and employer-sponsored plans.

2. Medicare Retiree Insurance

At times, you may enjoy employer-sponsored health insurance benefits, even after retirement, through Retiree Insurance.

This works excellently as a Supplemental insurance policy to support your Medicare plans.

Apart from this, you can also enroll in retiree insurance separately however this will not provide insurance cover to your spouse.

Retiree plans are generally considered creditable coverage for Medicare; penalties typically apply if you don’t have creditable drug coverage

3. Marketplace Insurance

It is possible to purchase insurance through the ACA Marketplace even before you are eligible for Medicare plans.

You may lose eligibility for ACA Marketplace premium subsidies when you become eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A.

In short, you will need to pay the full cost of health insurance, which will make Medicare more affordable.

Consider individual needs and subsidy eligibility before choosing between Marketplace insurance and Medicare; Marketplace plans can be an option before Medicare eligibility. Remember that such coverage is not creditable, so you may incur penalties if you delay enrolling.

4. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and B), offering the same benefits plus potentially more.

To join a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B. In addition, Medicare Part C should cover the services included in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Medicare Advantage is useful in certain situations. For instance, it is excellent for those eligible due to disability.

Almost all states offer supplemental options for those below 65 years. Additionally, Medicare Advantage premiums vary by plan and location, not specifically by age; affordability and availability depend on individual plans and state regulations.

Medicare Advantage can also be beneficial when you cannot afford Medigap monthly premiums. This is especially true if you are dependent on Social Security income after retirement.

You need to remember that Medicare Advantage has several out-of-pocket costs related to it.

Hence, even if you choose a zero-dollar or low-premium plan, you will still need to pay considerable out-of-pocket costs.

Thus, it is highly advised to consider the pros and cons depending on your particular situation before enrolling in the Medicare Advantage plan.


Medicare is not compulsory and the best Medicare alternative depends on your specific situation.

You can get the best health insurance if you combine Medicare Part A or Part B with a Medigap plan.

It might also be possible that your employer-sponsored Medicare group insurance could be better, especially if Supplemental options are not affordable.

Always remember, some insurance cover is always better than no insurance cover.

See Also

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

Does Medicare Cover Shingles Shots

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids

Does Medicare Cover Cataract Surgery

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic

DHHS Grant Program

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants

Current Version
March 19, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 25, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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