When you qualify for Medicare, the big dilemma is trying to understand your options. While you’ll have a choice of Medigap Plans, and most beneficiaries have a choice of Medicare Advantage Plans, you might say the two options are “worlds apart.”
Medigap Plans work with Medicare Part A and Part B to fill in coverage gaps. There are 10 different types of Medigap Plans that are standardized. A popular one is Medigap Plan F, and it comes in two varieties in many states. There’s a standard Plan F with comprehensive benefits, and a high-deductible version. That means you’ll have to pay for a certain amount of non-preventive health care every year before the plan pays for other services. In 2012, the deductible is $2,070. Recommended preventive health care services are now covered by Medicare, so a Medigap Plan will help with other types of health care.
Medicare Advantage Plans don’t work with Medicare like Medigap Plans. Advantage Plans are actually a way of getting Medicare benefits through a plan offered by private health insurance companies. Highly-rated Advantage Plans are federally subsidized and offer lower premiums. So, can you compare Medigap Plan F to an Advantage plan?
Advantage Plans do not have standardized benefits and Medigap Plans do. You could buy a Medigap Plan F, for instance, from any insurance company, and it would have identical benefits. Advantage Plans set independent rules and regulations, so you’ll need to read each plan separately.
Advantage Plans offer the same coverage as original Medicare, but you cannot combine an Advantage Plan with a Medigap Plan. So, you can’t use a Medigap Plan to fill coverage gaps. Advantage Plans often provide more benefits than original Medicare, but you’ll have to read the individual policy for specifics.
To see which plan will provide the health care you need, compare both Medigap and Advantage Plans. You can read more about both options here on our site. Not all plans are available in every state, though. You can request an instant quote to see which Medigap Plans are available in your area. You can also call us and we’ll assign a personal advisor for a free consultation, or you can sign up for our free Medicare Plan teleseminar to get the basic explanations and then you can call in to ask questions.
Jim McFadden has over 11 years of executive-level experience in the health insurance industry, is a youth baseball, softball and football coach, and has one of the worst fantasy football records in the world.