The difference between Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage provides you with a simple alternative to your Medicare coverage.

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When it comes time to enroll in Medicare, you have the option of choosing Original Medicare with supplemental insurance or Medicare Advantage, which bundles all your coverage together. 

Here’s what you should know as you decide what’s best for you.

Original Medicare + Medicare Supplement

While Medicare provides basic coverage for hospital and medical costs, it often doesn’t include all the benefits you may need. For example, Medicare doesn’t cover copayments or prescription drugs. Medicare Supplemental insurance plans help fill policy gaps and minimize your financial liability by helping to pay the costs not covered by Medicare.

While the federal government standardizes what each supplement covers, Medicare Supplement insurance is sold and serviced by private firms — which means cost and quality can vary. BCBSND offers Medicare Supplement plans A, G, C, L, N, F and High Deductible F.

Explore the variety of BCBSND Medicare Supplemental insurance plans and prescription drug plans.

Medicare Advantage

If you want a bundled approach to Medicare, you can get a single combined plan called Medicare Advantage, or Part C. Many Medicare Advantage plans also bundle in Part D prescription drug coverage as well as dental, vision, wellness programs and other supplementary benefits.

Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurance companies, rather than the government.

Unlike Medicare Supplements, the benefits included in Medicare Advantage plans are not regulated and can vary widely between insurance companies. Some may leave you responsible for most of your out-of-pocket costs.

When considering Medicare Advantage plans, it’s important to read and compare carefully and purchase from an insurance provider you can trust.

As always, you can work with a licensed independent agent to get expert answers and to walk you through your options. Just contact our Medicare Solutions specialists online or call 800-280-2583.