Do you know the differences between a Medigap Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Medicare Advantage Insurance?
Page 5 of your annual Medicare and You Handbook has a graphic showing the differences in the two “paths” of Medicare…pay up front or pay as you go.
Those who choose Original Medicare with a Medigap policy as secondary insurance will pay up front. They pay a monthly premium for their Medigap and generally only pay the $233 Part B annual deductible amount. Type N Medigaps also have small $20 office visit copays. Medigaps travel well, as they don’t have doctor networks. People who like having a fixed budget often choose the Medigap pathway. Medigaps can be bought or switched year-round, and typically CAN look at pre-existing conditions once you are past your first six months of your Medicare plan.
Those who choose Medicare Advantage Plans will pay as you go. Advantage plans may or may not have a monthly premium, but you WILL have copays for services you use, up to an annual maximum out of pocket amount, which varies by plan. It is generally several thousand dollars. Medicare Advantage plans have contracted networks of provider doctors, hospitals, and specialists, so you might have to change to in-network providers. Networks are usually within geographic regions, so “snowbirds” might have poor access to doctors when out of state. Medicare Advantage plans have specific annual open enrollment periods and marketing rules.
The “extra benefits” TV Advantage plans brag about are often available via Calhoun County Senior Millage, without you having to change insurance at all!
MMAP can help you sort it all out. Call 1-800-803-7174.