Paying Now vs. Paying As You Go
What you pay out of your own pocket and when you pay depends on which coverage option you choose.
With Original Medicare, you “pay as you go” by paying up to 20% co-insurance. If you need more extensive medical care however, there is no limit on what you will have to pay out of your own pocket each year.
For example, if you choose to add a Medicare supplement to Original Medicare, you are paying upfront through a monthly premium regardless of whether you see the Doctor or go into the hospital.
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 premium plans where you “pay as you go” through small copays or co-insurance amounts and only pay for the care you use. The most important thing to note about a Medicare Advantage plan is that, unlike Original Medicare, it also offers an added layer of protection by limiting the amount you pay out of pocket each year for covered medical services each year. That way, you are covered throughout the year and protected should a serious illness or injury occur.