When you first enroll in Medicare (typically at age 65) you will face one major decision immediately: Should you enroll in Medicare Advantage, or Original Medicare with the addition of a Supplement plan?
The point of healthcare plans is to help you access the medical services you need, while managing your out-of-pocket expenses. But because healthcare needs and budgets vary from one person to the next, there is no answer that is right for everyone. When you work with a qualified broker to sort through your Medicare options, we can help you determine which type of plan works best for your situation.
Medicare Advantage plans work like a traditional healthcare plan, by offering medical care through a network of providers. These plans must offer everything covered by Original Medicare, but you access these services through a network and one low monthly premium. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer additional coverage, such as Part D (prescription drug) coverage or may offer additional benefits
When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, it becomes your primary source of coverage. You are only covered in the plan’s service area, and you must usually obtain referrals when seeking care. Your out-of-pocket maximum for the year might be higher than it would be on Original Medicare with a Supplement plan.
Medicare Supplement plans are designed by private insurance companies to augment your Original Medicare coverage. These plans don’t operate through a network, so you can obtain medical care from any provider that accepts Medicare. This arrangement can benefit those who travel frequently.
Medicare Supplement plans pick up the remaining charges for which you would normally be responsible after Medicare pays their part of each bill. You will pay a higher monthly premium in exchange for lower out-of-pocket costs.
Don’t make your decision based on information contained in a single blog. Now that you understand the basic difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, give us a call to discuss your options with a licensed agent in greater detail. We can help you do the math and decide which of these plans offers the coverage you need at the monthly price you can afford.