Both Medicare options offer advantages based on your budget and lifestyle
There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing either Medicare Supplements that compliment your Medicare coverage, or choosing Medicare Advantage. The best option will depend on your personal preferences and situations.
What are Medicare Supplements?
Medicare supplements are designed to fill the gaps of Medicare. With Medicare Parts A and B there are still many gaps in coverage and potential healthcare costs that Medicare won’t pay for. Medicare Supplements can fill that void and cover some, most, or all of those remaining costs.
There is a monthly premium amount to pay for Medicare Supplements, but there generally isn’t any copayments or other restrictions in coverage.
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage is provided by private health insurance carriers who are approved by Medicare to provide at least the same benefits that Medicare Part A and B do, and often includes additional benefits such as dental, vision and hearing.
Medicare Advantage typically covers the same costs that Medicare Part A and Part B do, while also typically covering prescription drugs. But since it’s essentially a regular health insurance plan, you can be subject to copayments and out of pocket limits in addition to your monthly premiums.
Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements
- Potentially lower monthly costs.
- All Medicare parts are normally included.
- Vision, dental, hearing and other benefits.
- Network based doctors.
- Uncertain monthly out of pocket costs.
- Plan coverages can fluctuate annually.
- No networks.
- Less out of pocket costs.
- Guaranteed renewals.
- Monthly premiums are usually more expensive.
- Part D is not included.
- No extra perks or services.
Choosing between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements will largely depend on your current budget and lifestyle. Medicare Supplements may offer more coverage and peace of mind but may come with a higher monthly premium cost. Medicare Advantage may be a good choice for people who know their healthcare provider is in the network and who like the features of a traditional health insurance plan.
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