Medicare Supplemental Plan vs. Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans, also referred to as Part C plans. If you are currently enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), then you can choose to register for the Medicare Advantage Plan.
Private health insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans together with Medicare Parts A and B benefits to beneficiaries.
The Medicare Advantage plan offers the same coverage as the Original Medicare, including additional benefits.
Enrolling in this plan is one of the ways of adding coverage for routine dental services, dentures and wellness programs. Some of the Medicare Advantage plans may include prescription drug coverage. These plans are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MAPD).
You should be aware that you will remain enrolled in the Original Medicare even after joining the Medicare Advantage Plan. You will continue paying your Medicare Part B premiums.
There are several types of Medicare Advantage Plans. They include:
- The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan
- Special Needs Plan (SPS)
- Private Fee for Service (PFFS) plan
- Preferred Provider Organization Plan (PPOs)
- Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan
As long as you are eligible for the Original Medicare Plan, you are qualified to apply for a Medicare Advantage Plan.
What are Medicare Supplemental Plans?
Medicare supplemental plans are also known as Medigap plans. Medigap plans work with Original Medicare to cover every other cost that remains after Medicare has paid its share.
It covers out-of-pocket expenses such as co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles that the Original Medicare does not cover. Medicare supplements do not cover prescription drug related costs under part D and cannot be used to cater for out-of-pocket expenses under the Medicare Advantage Plan.
Private insurance companies sell Medigap plans. These plans also have different categories and may have a designation such as Part F. This makes it easy to identify the type that suits your needs.
Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plans
Freedom to choose your doctors
One of the benefits of Medicare Supplement Plans is that you have the freedom to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. With Medigap, you no longer have to worry about network restrictions.
Guaranteed Renewable for life
Medical Supplement Plans cannot be cancelled as long as you are alive. Your policy cannot be terminated for any reason other than non-payment of the premiums or misrepresentation when applying for your plan.
Freedom to travel
Your extra charges can be covered by the Medigap plan anywhere within the United States and sometimes, even when abroad.
The Differences Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement
1. How the plans are funded
For the Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare pays your private insurance company a fixed amount of money annually based on the cost of healthcare in your area. For Medicare Supplement, your monthly premium takes care of most of the expenses.
2. What it covers
The Medicare Advantage Plan covers everything that the Original Plan covers together with additional benefits such as routine vision, dental and dentures services. However, the Medicare Supplement only covers the out-of-pocket services that arise from Original Medicare such as co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles.
3. How much does it cost?
Medicare Advantage Plans have a zero dollar premium because the government covers the full cost while for Medigap, the beneficiary would have to pay a monthly premium.
4. Which one requires pre-approvals?
Medicare Advantage Plan requires pre-approvals to get some types of care while for Medigap Plans, you do not require any approvals as long as you qualify for that service through the Original Medicare plan.
5. Which plan can be cancelled?
The Medicare Advantage Plan can be cancelled at any time by your health insurance company while your health insurer can not revoke the Medigap insurance unless you default on premium payment.
Can I Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Medicare Supplement Plan?
It is possible to switch from Medicare Advantage Plan to Medicare Supplement Plan. However, you cannot have a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Medicare Supplement Plan at the same time.
If you intend to switch from Medicare Advantage Plan to Medicare supplement plan, then you need to consult a reputable plan provider in your area. Contact us today to link you up with somebody who can explain to you the benefits of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans wherever you are.