Medicare Advantage vs. Medigap Medicare Advantage
The terms “Medicare Advantage (Part C)” and “Medicare
supplement plans” are often used interchangeably when discussing
Medicare plan options, but they are actually quite different.
Medicare Advantage plans are convenient ways to receive your Medicare Part
A and Part B coverage, all at a low cost. With a Medicare Advantage Plan,
you receive your health insurance coverage through a private insurer approved
by Medicare. In addition, depending on your plan details, you may also
get additional coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental and healthy living
programs (like exercise plans or alternative medicine).
Medicare Advantage allows you to shop for the benefits that most match
your healthcare needs. You’ll have all of the hospital and doctor coverage of regular Medicare,
but you’ll pay lower co-payments and deductibles for that care.
The additional benefits in areas that Medicare does not cover make it
a great choice for people who want options in their health care plan.
You’ll have the flexibility of choosing a doctor from your plan’s
network of providers.
Medicare supplement plans work a bit differently. Rather than bundle the coverage up into one neat package, Medicare supplement
is intended to be an additional form of coverage to add on to Medicare
Parts A and B. It’s often called “Medigap” coverage
because it covers the gap between your health care needs and your Medicare
A Medigap policy (also called “Medicare Supplement Insurance”)
is private health insurance that is designed to supplement Original Medicare.
This means that it helps pay some of the health care costs (“gaps”)
that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (such as co-payments, coinsurance
Medigap plans don’t offer many choices and are standardized no matter what insurance
company is offering them, however rates will vary from one company to
the next. There are 10 levels of Medigap coverage that you can obtain
called levels A through N (with N being the most comprehensive). Medigap
plans will only cover the gaps left by Medicare and do not offer any additional
coverage like dental, hearing, vision or healthy living programs.
While Medicare supplement plans can add value to your Medicare plan, you’ll
get the most options with a Medicare Advantage plan. In order to purchase
Medicare Advantage you must be entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled
in Medicare Part B.
Page Last Updated: 9/29/16