In addition to the federal program, Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are the two options that individuals have for coverage. Although they have some similarities, these plans generally differ greatly and need to be considered individually to determine which is best for each individual. In most cases, if you are able to qualify medically and enroll for a supplement or Medigap plan, it will prove to be most beneficial.
The easiest way to understand the difference is to remember that Advantage will pay rather than Medicare while supplements will pay after Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are the privatized form of the federal government’s program, and they replace them (though you’re still enrolled in the government program, it’s just not offering you benefits); Supplements, on the other hand, are intended to close and supplement the gaps in the government program.
If you are a senior with health problems or you think you need to visit the hospital or need other medical services, you must seriously consider signing up for a Medicare supplement plan.
, Although your initial cost out-of-pocket may be a little higher, Medicare Supplemental Insurance will be much less expensive in the long run than the alternative option of a Medicare Advantage plan. Therefore, finding the right Medicare supplement for your needs is the best long-term choice for your physical and financial health.
A Medicare Advantage plan can reduce your expenses if you rarely need to see your doctor or hospital. https://www.medisupps.com/mutual-of-omaha-medicare-supplement-plans-2019/But you’d be taking a risk if you rely on it – unfortunately, you never know when you need to go to the hospital or need other medical services. While your monthly premiums may be significantly lower than with a Medicare supplement plan, your deductibles and co-payments are likely to be much higher if you need to see your doctor or other specialist.
Essentially, with Medicare Advantage plans, you bet you will not get sick in the near future – and why would you want to do that kind of gambling with your health and your bank account?
There are several reasons why supplements are generally more beneficial than the Advantage plans. Here are just a few:
- Supplements can be used with any doctor who takes the federal program; However, most Advantage plans have networks of doctors / hospitals for patients to stay in. In some areas, these networks are not well developed, so you may drive miles to see a network doctor.
- Supplements do not involve cost sharing. Many plans cover the 20% that are not covered by the federal program and one (or both) deductibles. On the other hand, Advantage plans, use the sharing of costs (deductibles and co-pay) as part of their plans. Most of the Advantage programs have co-pay of $15- $40 in the doctor’s office, as well as a daily hospital co-pay for the first 5-10 days and hospitalization deductibles and / or co-pay.
- In the case of supplements, coverage is not changed annually – since 1992 they have been made uniform throughout the Federation. However, Advantage plans change every year and often in recent years, these changes are borne by the insured.