Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements

Understanding the differences between Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans are important because this will help you determine which plan will meet your coverage needs the best.

Medicare Supplements

Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap, are individual insurance policies sold by private insurance companies and help fill in the gaps where Original Medicare does not cover certain costs. Medicare Supplement Plans can help cover costs, such as copays, coinsurance, and/or deductibles that you may owe. Medigap also offers some benefits that Original Medicare does not, such as medical coverage outside of the United States. 

In order to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You also are required to pay a monthly premium for your Medigap Plan, along with your Part A and B premiums that are required as well, unless you get premium-free Part A. It is also important to note that a Medigap Plan only covers one Medicare enrollee. If your spouse is also enrolled in Medicare, they must have their own separate Medicare Supplement Plan.

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Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C or MA Plans, are individual insurance policies sold by private insurance companies. They are Medicare Plans that provide the same coverage as Original Medicare, but can also provide additional coverage not provided by Original Medicare. This additional coverage can include coverage for prescriptions, dental care, hearing care, vision care, gym memberships, transportation to doctor visits, and more. 

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are not able to enroll in a Medigap Plan. You are only able to enroll in a Medigap Plan if you are enrolled in Original Medicare. However, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you must also be enrolled in Original Medicare first.

Most of the time you will need to seek treatment from your Medicare Advantage plan’s in-network providers to receive the lowest cost and best coverage, but there are plans that allow you to go outside of the network to receive care.

There are five types of Medicare Advantage Plans:

• HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization Plan
• PPO, or Preferred Provider Organization Plan

• PFFS, or Private Fee-For-Service Plan

• SNP, or Special Needs Plan

• MSA, or Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan  

Want To Learn More?

At Heritage First, we will help you find a plan that provides you with the coverage you need. If you find yourself trying to decide between a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement plan, reach out to us today. We can help you compare each and help you determine which one fits your coverage needs.

Heritage First offers insurance products and services. We are not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency. Insurance products are guaranteed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

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