Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap, are coverages that you can add to Original Medicare Parts A & B. Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part C, are alternatives to Original Medicare Parts A & B. They offer a different way to get your Medicare benefits.
Both Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. With either choice, you continue to pay a monthly Part B premium to Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans “Medigap”
Your Medicare Supplement plan will supplement original Medicare Parts A & B, meaning your supplement plan fills in some of the “gaps” of Original Medicare. This includes some deductibles and the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Both Medicare and the supplement plan cover you for any hospital or doctor in the US that accept Medicare, and the majority do.
The sole purpose of a Medicare Supplement Plan is to help pay some Out-of-Pocket costs not paid by Original Medicare. Most Supplement Plans do not include prescription coverage (Part D), so you would want to purchase an additional plan to cover prescriptions. Supplement plans also do not include dental and vision. You would need to purchase a stand alone plan if you would like coverage for those services.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans typically have no or a low premium. Medicare Advantage plans cover hospital and doctor visits and often includes prescription drug plans and some services not covered by Medicare. Most services, such as office visits, lab work, surgery and many others are covered after a co-pay. Some require a referral to see a specialist, while others do not.
It is essential to check on co-pay and co-insurance costs, to estimate your possible annual expenses. Since care is often limited to In-Network physicians and hospitals, the quality and size of a particular plan’s network should be an important factor in your choice.
Many Medicare Advantage plans include Extra Benefits not covered by Medicare, such as eyeglasses, routine dental care and hearing aids.
Your Ohio Health Benefits team is always here to discuss your current plan and compare that plan to any other plan you may hear about. Call us toll free at (866) 235-8378 or click here to email us your name and phone number for us to call you.
Ohio Health Benefits also offers Medicare & Muffins, a free educational seminar to help you understand how Medicare works. These seminars are free and open to the public every Wednesday at 9 am and Thursday at 3pm. For details and registration link click here.