Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement: What’s the Difference?
When it’s time to sign up for Medicare, you will face one major decision right away. Will you opt for Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage? And if you choose Original Medicare, will you add a Supplement plan? But more importantly, what’s the difference?
If you choose Original Medicare, that means you’ll be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Part A covers hospital care, whereas Part B pays for things like doctor visits and preventive services. Part A is free to most people who paid taxes throughout their working years, and you will pay a premium for Part B. You will still be subject to copayments, deductibles, the cost of things like prescription drugs
If you choose, you can add a Part D plan to help with the cost of prescriptions, but you will still pay copayments and deductibles for everything else. That’s where a Medicare Supplement plan can be helpful. For one monthly premium, you can count on your Supplement plan to cover these out-of-pocket expenses. A Medicare Supplement plan can also cover medical care when you travel out of the country, outside of Medicare coverage.
By contrast, a Medicare Advantage plan works in a similar manner to other health insurance plans you might have used in the past. After paying one monthly premium, you will enjoy a network of providers that cover everything normally provided by Medicare Parts A and B. In addition, many Medicare Advantage plans also provide Part D coverage, and might even pay for some services like dental and vision care (not normally covered by Original Medicare).
With Medicare Advantage, you will be subject to an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs, so you won’t receive any unpleasant surprises. But you can’t add a Supplement plan to Advantage plans (only Original Medicare), so compare both options carefully.
We can help you evaluate Medicare Advantage plans versus Medicare Supplement plans, and decide which option might help you to best manage your out-of-pocket expenses. Just call us to speak to one of our experienced brokers.