Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement–Is one better than the other?

In order to make an informed decision about Medicare Advantage versus Medicare Supplement plans consumers should first understand both options individually. When considering if one is better than the other, it depends on your needs.


Medicare Advantage (MA)

Medicare Advantage plans, or MAs, are offered by private insurance companies, rather than the government. In addition to offering a health plan with hospitalization and medical coverage similar to Medicare Part A and Part B, MA plans may include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, that are not covered by Medicare. Similarly, MA plans utilize HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) networks as well as PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) networks. With HMO, consumers choose from a coordinated list of primary care physicians and must attend that physician whenever necessary and possible. With PPO, consumers do not have to choose a primary care physician and allow for more flexible options.


Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)

Medicap plans are designed to cover the expenses not paid by Medicare Part A and Part B. There are supplemental plans A through N in all states except Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Each of the plans covers a different combination of benefits and deductibles.


So What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Medicare Advantage plans are required to carry the minimum coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B, more benefits are optional. But there is typically only one policy to keep track of. With Medigap, consumers will receive more coverage than standard Medicare Part A and Part B, with all plans being the same in all states (with the exception of the three previously mentioned), but it does require a juggling of multiple policies and sometimes more cost.


At Brindle Insurance Group we can help you choose the best fit for you and your budget. When choosing a plan that best suits your needs it is important to keep in mind:

  • Monthly premium
  • Deductibles
  • Doctor and healthcare facility restrictions
  • Benefits
  • Anticipated plan costs given your typical use of healthcare and hospitalization services
  • Prescription drug coverage cost sharing as it relates to your medication usage

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