SHOULD I CHOOSE A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT (MEDIGAP) PLAN OR A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN?
You have options, and they can be confusing. There are pros and cons to Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans. The main difference between health plans include the associated costs, freedom to choose doctors and hospitals, specialist referrals versus no referrals, and copays and deductibles. Contact us to answer your questions and determine which coverage is right for you, your health, and your lifestyle.
Healthcare Advantage Plans
Many people don’t realize that a Medicare Advantage plan is not Original Medicare–by choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, you are opting out of Original Medicare and purchasing a private plan. The main draw for a Medicare Advantage plan is that it may save you some money in the short term because they typically offer lower monthly premiums than a Medicare Supplement plan, but they tend to cost more in the long run due to many more out-of-pocket costs. Our licensed representatives can help you determine what those costs might be and which plans are most appropriate for you.
A Medicare Advantage plan has networks, which means you may only see doctors that are covered under their plan, and you may have to find new doctors and hospitals when you sign up. Medicare Advantage plans also typically carry copays and deductibles that must be paid for out-of-pocket. Medicare Advantage plans often offer drug coverage but may not cover the particular medications that you take. The costs for a Medicare Advantage plan can go up as high as $6,700 maximum out-of-pocket but could be higher if you get treatment or services outside of your network. It’s important to call to determine what type of drug coverage will suit you best.
It’s important to know if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan and become sick, you may not easily switch to a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan. At this point, you will have forfeited your Initial Election Period and must now go through the medical underwriting process. During medical underwriting, your age, health history and pre-existing conditions will be taken into consideration for your eligibility. Your illness or injury will now be considered a pre-existing condition, and your new carrier may deny coverage.
Under a Medicare Advantage plan, your copays, in-network doctors, and drug coverage can change from year to year, so it’s important to review the terms of your plan often. Medicare Advantage plans are typically catered to those with lower income, even though they can have higher costs in the long run.
Medicare Supplement (MEDIGAP) Plans
The out-of-pocket costs of a Medicare Supplement plan are typically lower in the long run because they offer more flexibility, more stability, and more coverage than most other plans.
A Medicare Supplement plan has no networks – that means that you can continue to see your own doctors and use your own hospitals of choice. A medical provider cannot turn you away based on your Medicare Supplement insurer as long as they accept Original Medicare. Medicare Supplement plans offer low to no copays and low to no deductibles, thus you don’t have to come up with a large sum of money if you were to become sick or injured. Medicare Supplement plans give you the freedom to choose between 30 different drug plans (depending on your state), which makes it more likely that you can get the particular prescriptions you need at a price you can afford. Call today to find out which drug plan will save you the most money based on your current medications.
You have the ability to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan 6 months before you turn 65 and 6 months after. You cannot be denied due to health or age. To discuss your options, call today to find the ideal plan for you.