As you reach 65, you’ll learn the many different options regarding Medicare coverage. Everyone’s personal open enrollment date is different. During your personal open enrollment period, you can enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You can also enroll in a Medicare supplement plan to complete your coverage and fill the gaps in your Medicare coverage. Alternatively, instead of a Medicare supplement plan, you can enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage).
You cannot have a Medicare supplement plan and Medicare Advantage. You must choose one or the other. It is important that you know the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans
Medicare Advantage offers the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare. Because it offers the same amount of coverage, this means these plans provide coverage for all medical outpatient services and hospital inpatient services. Medicare Advantage does this by offering Part A and Part B benefits through private health insurance plans.
With a Medicare Advantage plan, you will continue paying your Part B premium. These plans usually have an annual out-of-pocket limit but come with copayments and deductibles. After you meet your out-of-pocket limit, the plan pays 100% of your medical expenses. Medicare Advantage premiums usually range from $0 to $100 a month. These plans often include prescription drug coverage.
Rather than getting Medicare Advantage, we recommend a Medicare supplement plan. Low premiums and prescription drug coverage may seem attractive, but the benefits of a Medicare supplement plan outweigh the benefits of Medicare Advantage.
Unlike Medicare Advantage, the coverage from Medicare supplements come from Original Medicare. These Medicare supplement plans fill the gaps in Original Medicare. There are ten different Medicare supplement plans. The plans provide a wide variety of coverage, with some plans offering more coverage than others.
These plans cover most or all out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare. Your Medigap Open Enrollment period starts the day your Part B becomes active and lasts for six months. Prescription drug coverage is not included with a Medicare supplement plan. For this, you will need to enroll in an additional Medicare Part D plan. Medicare supplement plans often have an average premium that ranges from $150 to $200 a month. Many factors, including age, health, and location affect your premium.
Which One Do I Choose?
Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplements both have their own respective benefits, but we recommend a Medicare supplement plan. While the lower cost premiums of a Medicare Advantage plan may look more attractive, it comes with some sacrifices. For example, with a Medicare Advantage plan, you can’t choose any doctor you want. In most cases, you must see a doctor within the plan’s requirements. This creates a lower number of providers you can see for your health care needs. In addition, your preferred doctor might be out-of-network.
With a Medicare supplement plan, you can visit any doctor that participates in Medicare. You will have a large variety of health care providers available to you. In addition, there are little to no out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare supplement plan, unlike a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plan, you would typically have to pay copays and deductibles of up to $3,400 to $6,700 a year. You would not be responsible for these fees with a Medicare supplement.
Finally, Medicare supplement plans will provide you with full coverage for all of your needs. While they do not come with prescription drug coverage, most Part D plans are affordable, with plans as low as $34 in 2018.
We Can Help
We know that choosing the right plan for you can be difficult. Our certified and supportive agents can help guide you through the pros and cons of both Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans. We can give you personalized quotes unique to your situation, and help you make the right decision for you. You can get a free quote online, or give us a call at (800) 310-2550 and we’ll be more than happy to help.