Medicare advantage vs medicare supplement 2018?

Are you feeling a little lost in the world of healthcare? Trying to decide between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans can be a confusing game of “eenie, meenie, minie, mo.” But fear not! In this article, we’ll break down the similarities and differences between these two options so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What Are These Plans?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of each plan type, let’s first define what they are.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are offered by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare. They typically include all of your Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) benefits under one umbrella plan. Some MA plans also offer extra coverage like prescription drug or dental benefits.

Medicare Supplement (MS) plans, on the other hand, work differently than MA plans. Also known as Medigap policies, they act as supplemental coverage to help pay for out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (like copayments or coinsurance).

Pro-tip: Don’t get confused between MA, MS, MD, and MC – while it may sound like a medical acronym bingo game at first glance; only ‘Medical Coverage‘ holds true here.

Now let’s compare different parts covered by both types:

Parts MADetails SDLDetails
Part A(Hospital Insurance)
  • Hospital Stays
  • Skilled nursing care after hospital stay
  • Maximum trial hospice ($5 coinsurance per symptom relief prescription drugs)
Part B(Medical Insurance) X-rays , Doctor visits, outpatient care; and other related services. As per medicare determined amounts after annual dues.
Part C(MA/Medicare Advantage) Combination of both Parts A & B with additional coverage like prescription drugs, hearing aids or eyeglasses.
Can be an HMO or PPO network plan.
No such coverageplan available under this Part
Part D(Prescription Drug Coverage) Almost every MA plans cover Part D
Premium decides by the insurance provider company
Not covered at all under MS
You need to have Medicare standalone Prescription drug plan (PDP)

How Are They Paid For?

While both types of plans are designed to help you save some money in healthcare costs, they work a little differently when it comes to how they’re paid for.

MA plans typically involve paying monthly premiums like other health insurances do. But there’s also a catch! Depending on your plan’s cost structure – you pay per visit (copay) amount instead before getting treated. And that may add up significantly if not taken into account earlier

MS policies don’t pay out as monthly installments. You still have Original Medicare benefits so along with these policies would get included but payments varies basis terms which policy is selected.

And now we’ve arrived at the big question: which one should you choose? Well….it depends.

1) If having everything rolled into one convenience package is important for you then MA suits you best predominantly
2) MS goes handy because there needs very specifically thingry attention towards certain aspects only e.g coinpercnetages based gapping covers etc.
3)Do note that MA provide some limited options while choosing doctors or hospitals

Additionally, here are few factors that can affect your decision:

Cost considerations:

Since Medicare doesn’t cover everything—like co-payments and deductibles– it is useful to know the out-of-pocket costs when deciding what suits one best. The minimal amount required per visit may vary with MA plans more as compared to MS plans – so that can be a good point for choosing an option.


If you travel frequently or live in multiple states, then you might prefer MA plan as some insurers pitch specifically generate their services around these parameters; while on other hand MA provide limited options while choosing doctors or hospitals

Specific Coverage Needed:

Consider carefully about what type of coverage are needed. If there’s need only for prescription drugs, then opt-out for Part D rather than going only for any package per se. Or if conditions like diabetes or heart disease require paying attention sooner e.g frequent check ups etc., choose accordingly.

Making Your Decision

All right folks— after all this we hope that your head has stopped spinning! Now that you’ve got the basic overview of how Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement work -it’s time to make a decision keeping in mind of everything discussed above points.

Choose wisely,you wouldn’t want your grandkids playing “eenie meenie miny mo” with your healthcare choices – would You?

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