Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement

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Now the big question, should I sign up for a medicare advantage or a medicare supplement. Well as you probably learned in my medicare 101 video medicare advantage plans are part C of medicare and are run by medicare-approved private insurance companies. And they must at least cover what medicare parts A and B cover. Some plans even offer prescription drug coverage along with other benefits. Now medicare supplements as opposed to replacing your medicare parts A and B with another plan work with them. Medicare supplements are designed to fill some to all the gaps in medicare depending on which plan you choose. These plans are also offered by private insurance companies.

Medicare supplement plans have predictable cost, they are standardized, they do not have networks of doctors and hospitals. And you have options of different plans to cover some to all the gaps in medicare. On the negative side you do need to get separate drug coverage, they almost always have higher monthly premiums, and these premiums increase each year because of your age and also because of the experience of the risk pool they put you in. So if your in a unhealthy area your premiums will increase faster than if you live in a healthy area.

Medicare advantage plans are lower cost, with the most popular plans having $0 premium. Most include drug coverage. Most also have some small benefits for hearing, dental, vision, and wellness. The most popular benefits like these are free gym memberships. The negatives of medicare advantages are the networks where you need to see their doctors at their hospitals. the plans are not standardized and change yearly, and you can have max out of pockets of $6,700. And finally Medicare advantage plans are much more expensive in the long run for chronic conditions.

Now lets look at overall satisfaction of medicare advantage and medicare supplement plans. 15% of medicare advantage customers rated their insurance as fair or poor, compared to 6% rating traditional medicare with a supplement as fair or poor. 24.8% of people that are leaving medicare advantage plans because they had problems with provider access… So these people did not like being in a network of hospitals or doctors… And also 21.5% of people said they dis-enrolled because of misinformation and marketing abuse.

Okay, I know I painted a pretty negative picture of medicare advantage. These $0 premium plans really do not have much of an advantage to them, but there are good plans in areas of the country that are worth seriously looking at. I mostly run into 0 premium plans where I market, so they are the ones I focus on the most.

And as always remember if you have any questions make sure to call me at (920) 960-4312 or shoot me a email at Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

Medicare advantage plans maximum out of pockets are increasing with the popularity of their $0 premium plans. But you can see with this graph that there are other plans with different maximum out of pockets that you can choose form. But the average maximum out of pocket is still $5,257.

Andrew Walsh
Owner and Independent Agent
(920) 960-4312


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