BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — At 65 you become eligible for Medicare, which means you'll need to set aside some time and do some homework to sift through the many coverage options.

"Medicare insurance can be confusing and the details of what's covered, how much is covered, co-payments," says Senior Medical Director for Community Senior Care, Medicare and Care Management at HealthPartners, Dr. Tom von Sternberg.

Think of things like prescription drug costs, take your lifestyle into account - are you a homebody or do you enjoy travel? And of course, your financial situation. Medicare helps pay for care but it's not free. 

Dr. von Sternberg knows it can get complicated. 

"What people really value is someone that can help guide them through their choice. And so, a reliable, simple Medicare Plan that has an individual that you can contact to help explain things," he says. 

HealthPartners offers something called Medicare Advantage which offers all-in-one coverage. "With one card it will cover your pharmacy, your medical, your clinic care, your hospital care, your doctor care," says Dr. von Sternberg.

Medicare Advantage covers everything original Medicare does and there's several additional options. "Like vision services, hearing services, sometimes it can be membership in exercise clubs," says Dr. von Sternberg.

Overall Dr. von Sternberg thinks it's a very favorable option.

"The Medicare Advantage platform indeed is a simpler and more affordable way to make a Medicare Insurance choice," he says. 

However, it is important to know, different Medicare plans cover different benefits, so make sure to know the plan description carefully before enrolling.

For more information, visit: or call 952-883-5090 or 844-363-8979, TTY 711.

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