The differences between a Medicare Supplement versus a Medicare Advantage plan is often a topic of conversation when approaching the choice between the two. Occasionally, it is not really a choice and after a quick conversation between you and a broker, you will understand why you will be better off with one or the other depending on your specific circumstances. Here are a few questions to know the answers to beforehand to help prioritize your choice.
- What will your budget allow your monthly premium to be?
- Does working within a network bother your?
- Do you have doctors you want to keep if your network changes?
- How often do you go to the doctor?
- Do you have any major surgeries on the horizon?
A Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy covers the cost leftover by original Medicare. These plans follow federal and state laws designed to protect you. For that reason, the coverage from company to the company providing supplements are the same; the only difference is price. Plan F from one company to the next is exactly the same plan at the same cost. If you have a supplement you have no network, no referrals and you can go to any hospital or any doctor as long as they accept Medicare.
A Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as “Part C” or “MAPD Plan.” is an option available where a private company is paid by Medicare to manage your health care. This does not mean you lose Medicare. Medicare becomes your secondary and the private company becomes your primary insurer.
There is no degradation in coverage from one choice to the next; it is only a difference in form and function. A full-coverage style plan like Plan G or Plan N leaves you paying for your health care in advance, but you know exactly what you are paying per month. An advantage plan requires you to keep your Medicare Part B (Medical) premium current but has either zero or a low monthly premium. On an Advantage plan, you only incur costs if you incur care. Meaning, if you go to the doctor or hospital, then you will have a co-payment.On average, a MAPD Plan is one-third to half the cost of a supplement.
If you have questions or are confused about what you will be liable for. Book a meeting with an agent. The goal is to lower your potential cost as low as possible while still receiving great medical care when you need it and giving you peace of mind.