From November 15 to December 31 each year, Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for a different Medicare option. If you (or your parents) are on Medicare, here are the choices:


Original Medicare. With this option, you can go to any doctor or hospital willing to accept Medicare patients. Costs may be high, though, because you might decide you need a Medigap insurance policy and a prescription drug plan as well.


Medicare HMOs and PPOs. Here, you may get comprehensive care at a relatively low cost because there is no need to buy a separate prescription drug plan or a Medigap policy. However, you are restricted to certain health care providers or encouraged to stay in a network.


Medicare Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans. Again, these plans cost less than original Medicare because you won