Millions of seniors across the nation benefit from Original Medicare. While coverage under Medicare Parts A and B is better than having no health insurance at all, there are several costs that Medicare does not cover. Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans aim to bridge these gaps in coverage and save you from high out-of-pocket costs. Let’s take a closer look at both to understand their differences.
Also known as Medicare Part C, these policies typically come with low premiums. While all Medicare Advantage plans cover the costs of hospitalization and doctors fees, some even cover prescription drugs.
These plans generally fall under Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) insurance. While PPOs allow members to avail treatments and services from doctors and hospitals outside their network, such care typically costs more. On the other hand, an HMO member has to choose care facilities only within the plan’s network.
Coverage under most Advantage plans often requires a referral from a treating doctor and pre-authorization for specialist care. While insurers have thousands of Medicare Advantage plans on offer, research and comparison can help you find one that best suits your needs. Some advantage plans offer add-on benefits that include coverage for preventive health services, routine dental, hearing, and vision care.
Medigap is a form of medical insurance that helps pay for expenses that Medicare Parts A and B do not cover. Private insurance companies offer Medigap insurance, and they typically cover health care costs that include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
After signing up, you will have to pay the insurance company monthly premiums in addition to payments to Medicare for Part B coverage. While the premium amount is often expensive, a Medigap policy can save you thousands of dollars in a bad health year.
With Medigap insurance, you’ll receive coverage at any hospital or doctor in the country that accepts Medicare. An advantage of Medigap plans is that depending on the policy you choose, you could have healthcare coverage even when traveling abroad.
Understanding the differences between Medicare Advantage and Medigap is just the first step towards securing a healthier future. Speak with your doctor to find out which option will benefit you the most.