Anyone who is above 65 years of age must take Original Medicare that will allow them to get the medical bills paid directly to the doctors and hospitals. Almost all the medical institutions in the country are covered under this plan. However, Original Medicare do not undertake paying the whole amount of your medical expenses. You have to bear some of the amount out of pocket and there is no upper limit to this.
For any patient who are undergoing any costly treatment, bearing the extra amount over what Medicare pays becomes problem some. For this there are two options available that limit the exposure to the out of pocket cost. They are Medicare supplement plans that pay deductibles and co-payments.
The question is which one is the better option and which one should you choose. The decision will be easy to take if you know about them in details.
Medicare Supplement plans
Also known as MediGap plans, these plans are issued by private insurance. Even if you select this insurance your coverage under original Medicare will continue to exist. After you get your claims from Medicare they will forward your application automatically to the Medigap plan chosen by you. Rest of the portion of the bill, till the limit permits will be paid by Medigap.
The Medicare Supplement plan do not cover any prescription drugs costs. In case someone is looking for drug coverage you must also have Part D.
Medicare Advantage Plans
If you choose this plan then you can receive the benefits of Part A and Part B of Medicare through these plan only. While being an Advantage plan user you still have to pay your Part B premium. It comes with deductibles and co-pay and there is an annual out of pocket limit.
You cannot have both Medigap Plan and advantage plan simultaneously. You need to choose between the two.
Difference between Supplement and advantage plan
Both Medicare Supplement plan and Medicare Advantage plan has their own advantages and disadvantages. When you are about to undertake any Advantage plan you have to visit Doctors that are in the network of the plan. Else your medical bills will not be reimbursed. However, in case of Medigap Plan there are no such network of Doctors.
At the same time while choosing the advantage plan one will get government rating about the plans provided by private insurance companies but in case of Supplement plans there are no such ratings.