Difference Between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement


Medicare is a government supplied insurance program that only covers medically necessary health care procedures. Started in 1966 it provides insurance to Americans that are 65 and over and worked. It was part of the Social Security Act it doesn’t take into account income or your health history. Though it is a great thing to have no all cost are covered under Medicare. Therefore, people opt to purchase a private supplemental insurance to help with their medical costs.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is one of the options that people can purchase. When you are on this plan, you are still enrolled in Medicare but all your expenses are handled by the private insurance company you choose. To get this supplemental insurance the enrollee must have Medicare Part A and B. Everyone is eligible that applies except for people with end stage renal disease.

Most advantage plans reduce out of pocket costs by thousands annually. You also have the option of getting dental, hearing, chiropractic, acupuncture and vision coverage. These are things not covered by regular Medicare. You can also get transportation to and from appointments and health club memberships. These too are not covered under Medicare.

Medicare Advantage usually is without an annual deductible. If a procedure has to be done out of network you don’t get penalized and the plan will pay it for the patient at no cost to them.

Medicare Supplement

Medicare Supplement (medigap) is another option that is found in the private sector. It helps to pay for co-payments, co insurance and deductibles, medical care outside of the United States. To qualify for this, you must have Medicare Part A and B. Medigap covers only one person so spouses have to get their own plan. There is a monthly premium that needs to be paid and it varies based on age, health and gender.

The plan is always renewable even if you have health issues. Medigap does not offer a prescription drug plan and you cannot enroll in this plan if you are already using a Medicare Medical Savings Account. This plan also doesn’t cover any dental, vision care, long term care or nursing.

They both have their good points and bad points. You just have to pick which one is suitable for your lifestyle and health. For example if you are a person that loves to travel and is constantly out of the states then a Medigap plan may be the one that is right for you. You just have to carefully weight all the pros and cons when it comes to these two. They are both great options to supplement you Medicare coverage.