Approaching retirement age can be overwhelming, especially with the numerous healthcare coverage options available. It is crucial to make the right choice to ensure financial security and peace of mind in your retirement years. In these situations, many individuals wonder which option is right for them —Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement insurance? And can you have both at the same time?
To help you make an informed decision, this supplemental insurance broker in Northwest Indiana is going to discuss some of the key things you should know about each type of coverage below.
What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap, is a private health insurance policy that works alongside Original Medicare (Part A and B) to help cover out-of-pocket costs including coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. Depending on the plan, some Medigap policies may also cover emergency medical care when you travel outside the country.
There are up to ten standardized plans labeled with letters A-N, each offering different levels of coverage. For example, some plans may cover the Medicare Part A and B deductibles, while others may cover excess charges that some providers may charge above the Medicare-approved amount. However, regardless of your chosen plan, all Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws designed to protect consumers.
What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is an alternative way to receive your Original Medicare coverage. A Medicare Advantage plan allows you to receive your Medicare Part A and B benefits through a Medicare-approved insurance company.
Unlike Medigap, which supplements Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans provide all the benefits of Original Medicare and often include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage (Part D), routine vision, hearing, and dental care, and health/wellness programs.
Which Option Is Right for You?
The choice between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage comes down to your personal healthcare needs and preferences. A supplemental insurance broker in Northwest, Indiana may recommend going with a Medigap plan if you value flexibility and freedom of provider choice, since it allows you to choose any provider who accepts Medicare assignment.
On the other hand, if you are looking for additional benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs, Medicare Advantage may be a better fit. However, with Medicare Advantage plans, you may have to see doctors within the plan’s network, which can be limiting if you have a preferred provider outside of the network. Additionally, if you travel frequently or split your time between different states, you may not have coverage outside of your plan’s service area except in emergencies.
Can You Combine Medicare Supplement with Medicare Advantage?
The short answer is ‘no’. Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage plans are mutually exclusive, and you can’t have both simultaneously. In fact, insurance companies are prohibited by law from selling you a Medigap plan if they are aware that you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
However, if you are considering Medicare Advantage but are unsure whether it is the right choice for you, you do have a 12-month trial period to make up your mind. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and try it out during this time. If you find that it is not meeting your needs, or you are unhappy with the coverage, your supplemental insurance broker in Northwest Indiana may recommend dropping your Medicare Advantage plan and returning to Original Medicare.
Once you are back on Original Medicare, you can enroll in a Medigap plan or a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Remember that each option has specific enrollment periods, so it is vital to plan for what’s ahead and ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines.
Looking for a Supplemental Insurance Broker in Northwest Indiana?
Do you need help finding the right healthcare coverage for your situation? If so, and if you’re ready to meet with the top-rated supplemental insurance brokers in Northwest Indiana, look no further than the team at Senior Care Insurance Services (SCIS). We can help guide you through your options and help you make the best choices for your unique healthcare needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help.