Choosing a Medicare plan can be confusing and frustrating and we’re sure you have a lot of questions. Should I go with an Advantage plan? Is a Supplement plan all I need? It shouldn’t take an expert-level understanding of insurance policies and plans to make the right decision for you and your needs but at times it feels like it does. At Common Health, we are experts and we can help. We’ve laid out some pros and cons of each so you can directly compare some of the basics of Medicare Advantage vs Supplement plans.
Before we get too deep into either plan, let’s take a quick look at Medicare and how it works. Traditional Medicare is broken into two pieces with Part A and Part B. Each is designated to cover specific parts of your medical care that include visits to your care provider as well as medical supplies like oxygen or diabetic testing materials. Medicare Part A is provided to you by the federal government for no cost, though Part B requires a monthly premium that is deducted from your Social Security benefits. You don’t, however, have prescription drug coverage, which is considered Part D. This is where you can benefit from choosing a plan with an outside provider.
A Medicare Advantage plan gives you the opportunity to consolidate your Parts A, B, and D into a single plan that’s covered by a third-party insurance provider. You can shop private insurance plans that offer lower deductibles and are friendlier on the financial side, which means that you pay less for out-of-pocket expenses. Although, these plans do often come with a higher premium.
It’s important to weigh the cost of a Medicare Advantage plan because you’re going to be essentially replacing your subsidized government-issued Medicare benefits with those that come from a private insurance company, which can offer more benefits are a higher cost to you.
While Medicare Advantage plans are a replacement for traditional Medicare, Supplement plans do exactly what they say, they supplement your traditional coverage. Like an Advantage plan, Medicare Supplement is a plan that’s sold by a third party to help cover costs that your traditional coverage will not. Another name for a Supplement plan that is sometimes used is “Medigap” because it fills in the gaps left by Medicare.
Keep in mind that traditional Medicare does take care of much of the costs that come with medical supplies, visits, and procedures, it will not be there for everything. Your Supplement plan is meant to take care of the remaining costs so you don’t have to.
While Medicare Supplement plans used to offer a Part D plan to cover prescription drugs, they have not been allowed to do this since 2006. This means that you’ll have to find a Medicare Part D plan and pay an additional monthly premium for that coverage. If you have a Supplement policy, you’re not eligible for an Advantage plan unless you plan to make the switch back to your traditional Medicare policy.
Contact us to learn more
If you’re still unsure about whether you should choose Medicare Advantage vs Supplement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. The team of experts at Common Health will help you continue to weigh your options and find the Medicare plan to fit your needs and budget. Give us a call at 877-465-4494 or send us a note using our form. We’ll be sure to get back to your shortly to help you get started.