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Which Medicare plan will save you the most money? It’s not always what you think

Color portrait of Mark Pabst By Mark Pabst

Meet Bill.* Bill is getting ready to choose a Medicare plan. He’s been nursing bad knees, is taking daily medication to regulate his blood pressure, and sees a cardiologist to check on his heart health.

Let’s compare Bill’s health care costs over the next year between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage PPO plan with a premium. As you will see, the cost of Medicare can vary greatly based on the care you need and the coverage you choose.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s health is unique, so consider your specific care needs when deciding what type of coverage may work best for you. And plan availability and costs can vary based on where you live. So be sure to review the plans offered in your area.

Medicare road map: How to save money in the long run infographic
Medicare road map: How to save money in the long run infographic



Before choosing your own plan, it’s important to do your research. Aetna Medicare’s website and the Medicare Plan Finder are good places to start.

*Bill is a fictional character whose story is being used for illustrative purposes only. 

All Original Medicare figures are for the 2022 plan year; costs usually increase annually. Costs are based on a fictional composite plan with average costs. Medicare Advantage plan costs vary depending on your income and location; copays and deductibles also vary. Medicare Advantage plans include dental and vision benefits at no additional cost.

2 U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Planning an outpatient procedure? Procedures Price Lookup. Available at: Accessed June 23, 2021.

3 Figures cited from Medicare Costs Estimator Tool. Available at:

4 Figures cited from plan summary of benefits. Available at:


About the author

Mark Pabst has worked as a writer and researcher in the health care field for almost two decades. When not writing about health he tries to stay healthy through activities like hiking, climbing and paddling in the far flung corners of his native state of California. However, despite his best efforts he still has a few unhealthy habits he can’t shake, most notably a weakness for jelly donuts.


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