Medicare Supplement vs Medicare Advantage Plans

In regards to Medicare, coverage can be tricky to understand. The basic plan does not cover everything, so you’re liable for all copayments and deductibles. These can easily add...

In regards to Medicare, coverage can be tricky to understand. The basic plan does not cover everything, so you’re liable for all copayments and deductibles. These can easily add up to be a hefty expense. There is a policy gap with original Medicare. You will find two additional private insurance options that help you stay covered:  Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans.

Medicare Supplement Programs (Medigap)

When you register for a supplement program, you will nevertheless be enrolled in original Medicare too. Medicare will cover the vast majority of your health bills.  Medigap will cover any copayments or deductibles which are left over. As of 2015, there are 10 different supplement programs  — A through N. But to qualify for them, you should first be enrolled in Medicare part A and B. Additionally, you can’t own a supplement program along with Medicare Advantage.

In addition to your Medicare plan payments, you’ll also need to make payments to the private insurance company to your Medigap premium. Medicare supplement programs will only cover 1 person. You can buy Medigap policy from any insurance company that has a license in your state. The price will differ from place to place.

Provided that you continue to pay your monthly premium, no firm may drop your supplement coverage, no matter any health problems you might have. These Medigap policies won’t cover any prescription drugs, so it is still critical that you join Medicare Part D if you need more coverage for prescription drugs. Medigap policies can help close the gap, but there are a number of things they still will not cover, such as long-term care, vision, dental, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.

Medicare Advantage Benefits

Private insurance companies have more flexibility when designing Medicare Advantage plans, so there’ll be more variability between different plans. Unfortunately, this will make enrolling in a plan somewhat harder because it’s easy to overlook some attributes. Many Medicare Advantage plans will include Medicare Part D for prescription medications, so you won’t have to also purchase it on the side. Additionally, there are some Medicare Advantage plans offering eyesight, hearing, and dental care also.

There Are Different Kinds of Medicare Advantage plans, including Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPOs), Personal Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS), and Special Needs Plans (SNPs). Each program offers their own advantages, so it is important to read each outline carefully.

HMOs ask that you use certain doctors. Generally, you’ll have to select a healthcare physician from their”network” of physicians who have been pre-approved by them. PPOs will also have physicians in a network you need to pick from. PFFS plans, on the other hand, will permit you to visit any Medicare-approved doctor. Not all providers will accept the plan, but people who do will be dealt with by PFFS. In the end, SNP plans restrict their membership to people with specific diseases or traits. Individuals who reside in certain institutions (such as nursing homes) or people with specific chronic or disabling conditions will qualify for this sort of insurance coverage.

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