As you confront all of the different Medicare coverage options available to you, it can be easy to get them mixed up. After all, Medicare is an incredibly large and complex system! Our job is to guide you through all of these different options and choices, so that you end up with a plan, or combination of plans, that best suits your needs and financial concerns.
On that note, we have found that many people get Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans mixed up in their minds. These are two very different types of coverage, each serving a unique purpose.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies who have agreed to certain coverage standards. They organize these plans into networks, with providers agreeing to accept payment (similar to other health insurance plans that you have likely used in the past). We all face the choice of enrolling in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage plan, which roll Parts A and B into one convenient plan. Advantage plans often includes Part D (prescription) coverage as well.
Your other option is to stick with Original Medicare. But for many, the out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and deductibles are a primary concern. Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan, also called a Medigap plan, alongside your Original Medicare coverage can help you to manage those expenses. A Supplement plan also offers additional benefits, such as payment for medical services received outside of the country.
If you do wish to enroll in a Supplement plan, it is wise to do so during your original Medicare enrollment window when coverage is guaranteed. If you want to enroll in a Supplement plan later, you must participate in a health screening and pass underwriting. There is no guarantee of coverage past your original enrollment period.
Supplement plans can only be used alongside Original Medicare, and not with an Advantage plan.
Essentially, you can choose between Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage. Then you can add a Supplement plan to Original Medicare if you wish.
This can be a complicated decision, but you don’t have to make it alone. Contact us for professional guidance, and we will help you to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of your options.