Let’s start with the basics first. These questions below will help you decipher which plan is best for you, in simple & easy terms that you understand.
Supplement Plans allow you to select your own doctors & hospitals nationwide, as long as they accept Medicare patients. Advantage Plans typically require you to use doctors & hospitals within your plans network, which can limit you to seeing your preferred doctor or specialist.
Advantage Plans often require copays and sometimes even deductibles. So for example, if you see your doctor twice a month and you have a copay of $40 per visit, that equates to $80 per month, which can add up quickly. However, if you do not see the doctor frequently, a Medicare Advantage could save you money. Supplement Plans do not require any out-of-pocket expenses such as copays. So if you visit your doctor often or plan on having any upcoming surgeries, this might be the better option for you.
Advantage Plans will save you money on your monthly premiums, but you will have to pay out-of-pocket expenses when using your coverage or for any unforeseeable surgeries, hospital visits, etc. Versus Supplement Plans you have an allocated amount that you pay for your monthly premium that is a little higher than an Advantage Plan, however you do not have to worry about paying any out-of-pocket expenses when visiting your doctor, or worry about any unexpected trips to the hospital.
Supplement Plans allow you to see any doctor in the nation that accepts Medicare. So if you travel often and plan on visiting doctors in various states, a Supplement Plan would be a natural fit for you. If you do not travel often and only need to see doctors in your local network, an Advantage Plan might work just fine for you.
One of the most important decisions you will make when enrolling in Medicare for the first time is selecting a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan. While both types of coverage have both their advantages and disadvantages, it’s imperative that you select the plan that will work best for your needs and budget. Here is a helpful chart that we put together to help you weigh the pros and cons of both Supplement and Advantage plans side by side.
$85 – $150
$0 – $60
No network restrictions. Coverage goes with you across the United States, and you can use any Doctor or Hospital that accepts Medicare.
You may have network restrictions, that can change every year. Be sure to check to that your doctor(s) are accepted by the plan you choose.
No co-pays, plan pays 100%.
You will be responsible for paying the deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance (which can change yearly).
No referrals are required. You are able to go to any specialist you choose that accepts Medicare.
Referrals to see specialist are typically required.
Full coverage available nationwide. Ideal if you plan on traveling frequently once you retire.
Only emergency services are available outside local coverage area.
You can apply up to (6) months before you turn 65, and (3) months after you turn 65.
You can apply up to (3) months before you turn 65.
Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) is not included. Most people elect to purchase a Part D plan in addition to their Supplement plan.
Many Advantage Plans include RX drug coverage.
Some plans include coverage while traveling outside of The United States.
Some plans include extra benefits such as vision, dental, vision and gym memberships.
Your choice of doctors & hospitals and a predictable healthcare budget.
Low monthly premiums and do not mind using network doctors.