What is the difference between a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare supplement plan?

Asked By: Marilin Perrier | Last Updated: 1st February, 2020
Category: personal finance health insurance
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One option, called Medicare Advantage plans, are an alternative way to get Original Medicare. The other option, Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) insurance plans work alongside your Original Medicare coverage. You generally cannot enroll in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap plan at the same time.

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Besides, what is the difference between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans?

Key Differences Medigap coverage usually has a higher monthly premium but could result in lower out-of-pocket expenses than some Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, generally cost less and cover more services, which can be the better option for your budget.

Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare Advantage plans? The takeaway Medicare Advantage offers many benefits to Original Medicare, including convenient coverage, multiple plan options, and long-term savings. There are some disadvantages as well, including provider limitations, additional costs, and lack of coverage while traveling.

Also asked, is Original Medicare better than Medicare Advantage?

While all plans must cover the same services as Parts A and B, different Medicare Advantage plans will have different networks, copays, and drug formularies. Although most seniors are enrolled in Original Medicare, the number enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans has tripled since 2003 to 19 million.

Do you need a supplement with a Medicare Advantage plan?

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and keep your Medicare Supplement insurance plan, keep in mind that your Medicare Supplement insurance plan will not pay any of the Medicare Advantage deductibles, copayments or coinsurance.

30 Related Question Answers Found

Is Medicare Advantage a good deal?

Private Medicare Advantage plans can be a good deal for seniors looking for all-in-one medical and drug coverage. Or they might not pay for the first 20 days in a skilled-nursing facility (which traditional Medicare covers). In addition, a plan may provide limited coverage if you travel out of state.

Is supplemental Medicare insurance a waste of money?

Is supplemental Medicare insurance a waste of money? Having only Medicare may not be enough to protect you from large medical bills, and there are services with no coverage. Medicare covers only 80% of your medical costs. Thus, leaving you with 20% of the bill, in addition to any unmet deductibles or copayments.

Do Medicare Advantage plans have deductibles?

Medicare Advantage plans out of pocket costs: deductibles
A deductible is the amount you must pay before your plan begins to pay. Some Medicare Advantage plans have $0 medical deductibles, $0 prescription drug deductibles, and $0 premiums.

How does Medicare Advantage plan work?

How do Medicare Advantage Plans work? When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare pays a fixed amount for your coverage each month to the company offering that plan. These companies must follow Medicare's coverage rules. Medicare Advantage Plans have yearly contracts with Medicare.

Can I drop my employer health insurance for Medicare?


By law, employer group health insurance plans must continue to cover you at any age so long as you continue working. Turning 65 would not force you to take Medicare so long as you're still working. The only exception is if your employer has fewer than 20 people (or fewer than 100 if you are disabled).

Who qualifies for Medicare Advantage plans?

Medicare Advantage Eligibility Requirements
  • You must be enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).
  • You must live in the service area of a Medicare Advantage insurance provider that is accepting new users during your application period.
  • You do not have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Is AARP Medicare Complete a Medicare Advantage Plan?

UnitedHealthcare offers Medicare Advantage plans that combine the benefits offered by Medicare Part A and Part B (also called Original Medicare) into one simple plan. These additional benefits can include: Coverage for prescription drugs. Vision care.

Do husband and wife pay separate Medicare premiums?

Like most Medicare plans, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan is designed to cover only one person. No Medicare Supplement insurance plans provide spouse coverage. This means that a married couple who both want Medicare Supplement insurance coverage must purchase two separate policies.

Can I switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare?

During the Open Enrollment Period, you can switch between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. During this time, you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare. Your coverage will start on the 1st day of the month after the month in which you switch coverage.

What is the advantage of a Medicare Advantage plan?


Medicare Advantage plans can serve as your “one-stop” center for all your health and prescription drug coverage needs. Most Medicare Advantage plans combine medical and Part D prescription drug coverage. Many also coordinate the delivery of added benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing care.

What does the average Medicare Advantage plan cost?

Medicare Advantage premiums vary depending on the type of plan and the state you live in. Monthly premiums range from $0 to the high $300s. But overall, average monthly premiums are usually lower than what you would pay for Medicare Part B*.

What are the best Medicare Advantage plans?

The Best Companies for Medicare Advantage Plans:
  • Best Overall: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
  • Cheapest: Aetna Medicare Advantage.
  • Best Coverage: Humana.
  • Best for Special Needs: Cigna.
  • Best for Doctor and Specialist Networks: Highmark.

How can Medicare Advantage plans be free?

Free Medicare Advantage plans are private Medicare insurance plans that offer a $0 monthly premium. While these plans are advertised as free, you'll still have to pay the standard out-of-pocket costs for other premiums, deductibles, and copayments. Get help paying costs.

How can Medicare Advantage plans have no premium?

Zero premium Medicare Advantage plans are not free. Costs you may be responsible for include: Your Medicare Part B premium: even with a zero premium Medicare Advantage plan you must pay your monthly Part B premium to the federal government. Copayments: this is a dollar amount you pay when you receive a service.

Can I switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a supplemental plan?


To switch from Medicare Advantage is a multi-step process. First, you need to drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Then, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) between January 1 and March 31.

Do you have to pay for Medicare Part B if you have an Advantage plan?

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans cover the benefits associated with both Medicare Part A and Part B (except for hospice care, which Part A covers) and may come with a monthly premium for coverage; however, you must also continue to pay your Part B premium.

What is not covered by Original Medicare?

While Medicare covers a wide range of care, not everything is covered. Most dental care, eye exams, hearing aids, acupuncture, and any cosmetic surgeries are not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. Long-term care is also not covered by Medicare.