When a person becomes eligible for Medicare, he or she has two main choices.
1. Original or traditional Medicare with or without supplemental coverage via a prescription drug policy, Medicaid, purchasing a Medicare supplement policy (sometimes called Medigap), or from an employer. The model is fee-for-service. Medicare pays providers for claims for medical services.
2. Medicare Advantage. The insured person chooses one insurer (not Medicare) among many and various plans the insurer offers. One policy from a private insurer, which pays providers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pays each private insurer on a per capita basis, the rates varying geographically. The model is managed care or HMO or PPO.
In either case, he or she pays the Medicare Part B premium.
The author of this article favors Medicare Advantage over original Medicare with or without supplemental coverage. She believes it is more cost effective. I don't have the expertise to opine on the thoroughness of her case, but it seems she presents a good and unbiased case for favoring Medicare Advantage.
P.S. Sellers of Medicare Advantage policies often advertise "$0 premium." While this is true regarding the amount of premium the insured person pays to the insurer, it is at least misleading since the insured person must pay the Medicare Part B premium. Rarely does "$0 premium" advertising include this caveat, or it is in fine print (which on tv can appear too briefly to read).