Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans are both offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans replace Medicare Part A and B, whereas Medigap plans supplement it. One of the decisions you will have to make is whether to buy a Medicare Advantage Plan or choose Medicare Part A and B plus Medigap insurance.
How do Medicare Advantage and Medigap work?
Medicare Part A and B is a government health insurance program for people over a certain age or with a disability. Part A covers hospital insurance and Part B covers services offered by doctors. Deductibles, coinsurance and copayments are the costs that you may have to pay out-of-pocket. Medical Supplement (Medigap) insurance plans cover these gaps.
A Medicare Advantage plan must include all Medicare Part A and Part B coverage (except hospice care) but may also offer added benefits.
Before you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to make a comparison, because costs and coverage details will vary.
If you join a Medicare Advantage plan and you aren’t happy, you have the right to buy a Medigap policy if you return to Medicare Part A and B within 12 months.
Medicare supplement plans 2021 is an online resource that allows you to see the benefits for each Medigap plan. Russel Noga of Medisupps.com, says you should find out which company offers the best rates when choosing a Medigap plan because each plan designated with a particular letter from A to N is required by the government to offer identical benefits.
Some pros of Medicare Advantage plans
The premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are generally lower than those of Medigap plans.
Different Medicare Advantage plans are available to suit your personal situation. For example, a Special Needs Plan (SNP) helps with long-term medical costs for chronic conditions.
Medicare Advantage plans can offer added benefits to Medicare Part A and B, such as routine vision, hearing and dental services.
Many Medicare Advantage Plans cover prescription medication.
At the end of each year, Medicare Advantage plans have open periods when you can freely change plans.
Some pros of Medicare Part A and B plus Medigap plans
You can choose from more physicians. Medicare Advantage plans are mostly network-based, whereas Medigap works with any physician who accepts Medicare. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you may face higher fees if you choose an out-of-network provider.
The options are not as confusing as Medicare Advantage plans because they are only 10 types of plans that are exactly the same. It makes it easier to decide which plan is best for you.
With Medicare Advantage, you are usually required to make co-pays directly to the provider, whereas with Medigap, the program will pay the facility or doctor.
Medigap coverage usually offers lower out-of-pocket expenses than a comparable Medicare Advantage plan.
How do you decide which one is better?
Someone with significant, expensive health problems is better off with Medigap. The premiums may be higher, but the out-of-pocket costs are typically lower. If you have many medical expenses, the Medigap premium ends up as a better deal.
On the other hand, if your health is good and you don’t expect many medical expenses, you may be able to save with the lower premiums offered by Medicare Advantage. If you take prescription drugs, a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage may be best as current Medigap plans don’t cover prescription drugs.
Before you decide which option to choose, make a point of reviewing the Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap options available in your area.