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  • Writer's pictureMike Lewis

Medicare in Indiana

Medicare Advantage Plans vs Medicare Supplement... Help Me Decide

While the Original Medicare Part A and B covers many healthcare expenses, there are some important gaps in coverage to be aware of. As a result, many people with Medicare decide to enroll in two plans to ensure these gaps are covered.

The two most popular options for supplementing or replacing Original Medicare are the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare Advantage is an alternative to Original Medicare whereas Medicare Supplement plans work alongside your Original Medicare coverage. It’s important to recognize that these two options have significant differences when it comes to benefits and costs. Understanding those differences will help you to review your options and be confident in your decision.

Medicare Advantage Plans

It’s important to understand that Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. While enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t remove you from the Medicare program, you will get your benefits through the Medicare Advantage plan instead of through the federally administered program. Simply put, the Medicare Advantage plan replaces your Original Medicare coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans provide the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, with the exception of hospice care. Some Advantage plans also provide additional benefits not offered by Original Medicare such as routine vision and dental visits, health and wellness programs as well as prescription drugs.

There are two open enrollment periods each year and Medicare Advantage plans offer monthly premiums as low as $0. However, these plans typically have copayments and coinsurance.

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, work with Part A and B of Original Medicare to help pay for certain costs that aren’t already covered.

In contrast to the Medicare Advantage plan, you are still enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, when you enroll in a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. Original Medicare will still pay the majority of your healthcare bills but the Medicare Supplement plan will cover certain cost-sharing expenses such as copayments or deductibles. Typically, there is only one enrollment period per someone’s lifetime unless there are special circumstances and there is a monthly premium.

Medicare Supplement coverage is standardized across each plan letter, meaning that you’ll see the same basic benefits within the same letter category regardless of which insurance company you purchase from. However, premium costs may vary based on insurance company and location.

It’s also important to recognize that Medicare Supplement insurance plans can only be used to pay for Original Medicare costs. Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans cannot be used together.

If you have any questions about your current plan or are looking to expand your coverage, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Medicare Industry Professionals at Archbold and Lewis Insurance in Ossian and Bluffton Indiana.

We are here to help you make the Right Choice!

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