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Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplements-Which Is Right For You?


Both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans provide beneficiaries ways to minimize and help control out of pocket costs and also maximize their benefits. 

But-both of these types of health insurance plans work VERY differently and it is important to understand the difference before you decide which Medicare plan is the best fit for you. Below, we will compare and contrast Medicare Supplements to Medicare Advantage to help aid you in this decision.

Medicare Supplements

Also commonly referred to as Medigap plans. 

These plans help cover some medical expenses that Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, do not pay for entirely. 

Expenses that are not covered might include deductibles and copays, depending on the letter designation of the plan you choose.

Some plans cover 100% of Medicare approved services. When you have a Supplement, you use it in conjunction with your Medicare card and benefits.

If you already have Original Medicare, a Supplement adds to that coverage.

There is also a monthly premium associated with Medigap plans.

These plans are offered by private health insurance companies and they set their own monthly premiums so the cost will vary from company to company, however, the benefits are identical.

Premiums are likely to be higher with a Supplement plan than they are with an MA plan, but they typically offer more freedom regarding providers and hospitals.

Medicare Advantage

Private insurers also offer Medicare Advantage plans.

 They are required to provide benefits that are equal to or better than those provided by Original Medicare.

 Yet, with an MA plan you would only use your Medicare Advantage plan card when you access health services through your plan.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C plans, might also require an additional premium along with your Part B premium.

However, this premium is usually very modest. Some plans do not require an additional premium and some even rebate part of the Part B premium.

One big advantage of an MA plan, compared to traditional Medicare, is that they include a maximum yearly out-of-pocket limit.

 Even though MA plans may require members to pay copays and deductibles, there is a maximum out of pocket, MOOP, that protects the beneficiary and after this limit has been reached, all covered services are picked up by the insurer for the remainder of the Medicare year.

Some MA plans also come with Part D prescription drug coverage.

 It might be simpler to manage your health and prescription medication insurance with one policy.

 However, some plans do not come with prescription coverage, therefore you will need to enroll in a separate Part D plan.

 So which is the best plan?

 The correct answer to this question really depends on your answer to the following questions below:

  • What are your needs?

  • What does your budget look like?

  •  Where do you live?  

Do you have questions about Medicare? Speaking with our licensed Medicare professionals really is the secret to mastering great healthcare and getting your Medicare right the first time.
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