Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare Advantages
I would like to explain the differences between a Medigap policy and a Medicare
Advantage plan, and also give you my personal opinion on the plans. Before I begin to analyze each plan
please understand that there are people who will argue till they are blue in the
face that one is better than the other, but in all actuality each one has
characteristics that serve a purpose.
Larger network –any doctor/hospital that accepts
These plans supplement Original Medicare, which
means they pick up specific deductibles and co-insurance in Original Medicare
Medigap plans have very little exposure
Larger premium – typically increases yearly by 8%
Benefits are standardized and are constant as
long as the policy is in force
Medicare Advantage Plans (MA)
Smaller network – PPO, HMO, PFFS are a few of the
plan types that restrict you from being able to see any doctor you want.
Takes over Original Medicare’s claim
Exposure can be very large and vary each year
Benefits typically change each year (sometimes
better, sometimes worse)
Morgan-White Group has been in the insurance industry over 20 years and has
dealt in the senior market for the past 10 years.
With what we have seen and learned Medicare Supplements seem to be the
more secure and stable option for the long haul.
Medicare supplements have been standardized since 1992 and they have been
a tremendous way for seniors to stay on a budget through a simple premium and
usually no deductibles or co-pays for Medicare approved services. There are very few plans that can
guarantee you the same benefits year after year and provide you with an
outstanding network of physicians like Medicare supplements can.
Medicare Advantage plans can have very attractive layouts for a very low
premium. Sometimes your premium can
be as low as $0 (I even saw in 2006 where they were crediting enrollees Part B
premium $22 a month). Sometimes you
get what you pay for! Medicare
Advantages are usually PPO, HMO, SNP, or a PFFS plan, which means they have
smaller networks of physicians than Medicare does. Also some of these networks can
change throughout the year or can accept/reject someone on a case by case basis. MA plans do offer a Maximum out of
Pocket to their enrollees which Original Medicare by itself does not offer. For instance if you had a surgery
that cost 100,000 under Part B, your co-insurance could be close to $20,000, but
under a Medicare Advantage plan you would be capped off at the maximum out of
pocket level of that MA plan. So
there are positive and negatives of these plans, but understand you need to
discuss this with someone who truly understands these plans. MWG Senior Healthcare (email@example.com)
is an organization that has Certified
Senior Advisors that can help you review the plans and see which one can
best meet your needs.