Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements are both optional plans that provide beneficial additional coverage to your Original Medicare coverage. But which one is right for you?
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Medicare Advantage (Part C) is an alternative option to your Original Medicare plan. When you enroll in one of these plans, you are guaranteed to receive all of the same benefits and coverage as Original Medicare. Think of it more as “adding” an Advantage plan to your Original Medicare, because you will still need to pay the Original Medicare premiums and deductibles.
Medicare Advantage puts you into a low-cost coverage radius. This means that, when you enroll in a plan in your area, you will be able to access the network of healthcare providers they have brought into their plan.
When you receive care from these providers, you will pay little to nothing for it. And, most Advantage plans have a very small or no monthly premium. Most plans will also include Part D prescription drug coverage.
There are multiple different Advantage plans to choose from, but the two most common are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. HMOs cost less, but have a smaller network than a PPO, and require a primary care doctor for specialist referral. PPOs have a larger network and no required primary care doctor but cost a bit more.
In short, you have options. An Advantage plan will give you the low-cost coverage coordination you need.
What are Medicare Supplements?
A Medicare Supplement plan will add to the coverage of your Original Medicare plan. Rather than combining all of your Medicare coverage like Part C, a supplement will provide more coverage not available with Original Medicare alone.
There are 10 Supplement plans to choose from, each with unique benefits. They will cover things like your deductibles, blood transfusions, copayments, coinsurance, and more.
You can enroll in a supplement when you first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. 6 months after this birthday, you may be less likely to qualify for a plan. Also, you will be paying a premium—but, unlike Medicare Advantage, you likely won’t be paying your Original Medicare premiums and deductibles.
Which is Better?
Both of these plans are fantastic options for almost anyone. The question is, which provides the coverage you need at a cost that works for you? Advantage plans can provide prescription drug coverage, while a supplement cannot. But a supplement plan provides a lot of additional benefits that cover your Original Medicare costs that Part C does not.
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At the end of the day, you get to decide what works for you. BIM can help. Call today at (732) 458-5000.