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Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement

Jan 17, 2019 11:34:00 AM / by Stephanie Pogue

Stephanie Pogue

Unless you have employer group coverage, you will most likely be enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65. Medicare is basically a good health insurance plan, however it does have some sizeable gaps. These gaps are the deductibles and copays you will have to pay if you need any health-related services in or out of the hospital.

Most people choose either a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement to fill in those gaps. Both are good types of coverage but you need to understand the differences.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are HMO’s or PPO’s. That means they are managed care plans with a network of doctors and hospitals that provide services. If you live in an area where there are large provider networks, this may be a good option for you.

Often, there are no monthly premiums but you pay co-pays at the doctor and deductibles at the hospital. These are “pay as you go” type of policies. You won’t have to pay a monthly premium but you will be charged when you need medical services.

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These types of plans also included your prescription coverage and “extra benefits” like dental exams, vision screening, hearing aid discounts, and fitness benefits.


Related Post: What is Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan)?


Medicare Supplement

Medicare Supplement plans work in the opposite way. You pay a monthly premium but then the other co-pays and deductibles will be paid for by the health insurance company.

Since there are usually no provider networks, you can go to any doctor or hospital you want to, as long as they accept Medicare.

If you don’t mind paying a monthly premium, this is as close to “full coverage” health insurance you can get. However, you will need separate plans for prescriptions, dental, and vision services.


Related posts: What is a Medicare Supplement?, What makes Medicare Select plans different?, How do I find the right Medicare Part D plan?


Despite the differences, when it comes to choosing Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement, not all areas or communities have access to Medicare Advantage plans so a Medicare Supplement may be your only option.  In order to help determine which type of plan is right for you? Contact us today for a free consultation.


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Topics: Medicare

Stephanie Pogue

Written by Stephanie Pogue

Stephanie has been primarily helping seniors and retirees with their healthcare decisions since 1995. In addition, she has recruited and trained agents, developed and promoted managers, and ranked in the Top 3% of Sales Managers at Bankers Life & Casualty while she was there. She is now the Director of the St. Louis Insurance Group and can be reached by email at