The Medicare maze is long and twisting. The reason Medicare is often confusing is because of the choices it offers. One of the most significant decisions you may have to make is whether you want to choose Medicare with Medigap Supplement Insurance plans or an all-inclusive option such as Medicare Advantage. While the confusion over the options continues, it never hurts to discover the difference between the two plans and which option will best serve you.
What is Medigap?
Medigap refers to plans that fill in the gaps in regular Medicare coverage. Medigap Supplemental Policies are identified using the letter of the alphabet. It is the type of health insurance that helps you pay for out-of-pocket costs that Medical won’t cover. Some of these expenses include:
- Health care costs when you travel internationally
If you are looking for Medigap plans, you may have them from reputable private insurance companies licensed by the state. The degree of coverage is determined by what type of Medigap plans you choose. The number of plans varies from state to state, though. However, you can find 10 different types of Medigap coverage. Many people opt for Medigap Plan F, which offers the broadest coverage.
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage, also known as “Medicare advantage part c plans,” offers an alternative to the original Medicare plans. These plans also consist of typical Medicare Plan A and B plans and thus form complete coverage for the insured person. If you are a Medicare patient, you may opt for Medicare Advantage. Usually, these plans are available at private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. In addition to standard Medicare coverage, the Medicare Advantage plan covers expenses for:
- Wellness Programs
While the exact details vary depending on the specific plan, Medicare Advantage plans can also be tailored to cover costs related to chronic illnesses or conditions that you may have. The Medicare Advantage plans may also include additional expenses, such as:
Even though the exact details are no same with all policies, Medicare Advantage plans are likely to cover costs for chronic illnesses or conditions that you may have. The Medicare Advantage plans may also include additional expenses such as:
- Transportation to doctor’s visits
- Over-the-counter medications
- Adult daycare services
You can also find Medicare Part D in most Medicare Advantage Plans. However, if the plan doesn’t include this, you can always add a separate Medicare prescription drug plan.
Medigap vs. Medicare Advantages – Fundamental Differences
While both plans offer practical advantages, they are not the same. There are key differences between the two. Being able to figure them out can help you choose the type of plan that serves you best.
One of the most fundamental differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantages Plans is the price. Both are offered at different costs. Choosing Medigap plans over Medicare Advantage plans charges some extra on premiums that you have to pay. In other words, Medicare Advantage plans often cover less than Medigap, thereby resulting in more expenses that you have to pay from your pocket. Whatever options you choose, select the right plan that makes sense for your specific conditions and lifestyle.
Choice of Physicians:
Sometimes, depending on which physician you choose, you may want to select between Medigap and Medicare Advantage plan. Remember, both plans have certain limitations. Be careful while choosing your plan, especially if you have any chronic condition that requires you to see a specialist. Choosing Medicare Advantage allows for opportunities to see a limited selection of physicians and enjoy other facilities within the network. Specific Medicare Advantage plans don’t offer such coverages at all. Some Medigap plans provide more flexibility. However, either of them allows for the coverage for the physician or facility that accepts Medicare.
Sometimes, you may have to make your choice based on your location and lifestyle. For those living in one state and rarely travel, Medicare Advantage is widely chosen. Those who live in more than one state throughout the year or frequently travel may find Medigap super useful. Medicare Advantage plans are exclusively designed with a single location in mind. You can’t benefit from such a plan when traveling internationally. On the other hand, many Medigap plans provide coverage in all 50 states and when going outside of the US.
While Medigap offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of the physician network, Medicare Advantage includes prescription drug coverage. Besides, you don’t have to take too much trouble in filing a claim.
Whatever plan you choose, be it Medigap or Medicare supplement, it is preferable to seek the professional advice of the insurance broker. Find out a reputable agency that can help you with the right choice. They stay updated with the latest changes in insurance plans and coverages, and they love to share their knowledge and insight.