Medicare Advantage Versus Medicare Supplement Plans
If you’ve begun to suspect that nothing about Medicare is simple, you’re correct! However, it is always our goal to simplify the facts for you, so that you can make the decision that is right for your healthcare needs and budget.
One of the most commonly confused issues involves Medicare Advantage versus Medicare Supplement plans. They’re definitely not the same thing at all, but it’s easy to see why some people get mixed up about them.
The main thing you need to know is that when you enroll in Medicare at age 65 (and each year afterward during the Annual Election Period) you can choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare is comprised of Parts A and B, or hospitalization insurance and regular health insurance. Part A is free to most people, whereas Part B charges a monthly premium. Medicare Advantage rolls both of those plans into one, easy to manage policy that is administered by a private health insurance company, and sometimes includes other benefits such as Part D (prescription drugs) or even dental or vision services.
Now here’s where some people get confused: Because Original Medicare does not cover all of the healthcare services you will need, and you will also incur charges such as copayments and deductibles, many enrollees elect a Supplement plan to help them manage their expenses. A Supplement Plan kicks in to cover much of your out-of-pocket fees, and sometimes also helps you to obtain healthcare when traveling overseas. The idea is to prevent surprise healthcare expenses by building these extra costs into a supplemental plan.
Advantage plans were designed to roll more of your healthcare needs into one plan. But you can choose either Original Medicare plus a Supplement plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan. You can’t enroll in both.
So, which one is better for you? We can help you sort out those details. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can help you evaluate your healthcare needs and budget, and then match you with a plan that works best for your situation.