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Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans are Not The Same Thing


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									Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans are Not The Same Thing
Medicare Advantage Plans, are health plans from insurance companies that
have a contract with CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid). Individuals
who have Medicare Part A and B are eligible to choose a Medicare
Advantage plan. Specialized plans exist for people with certain health
conditions, but beyond that the general plans are not allowed to decline
based on health except for very specific reasons.
When an individual is enrolled in the plan they do not lose their
Medicare. They are entitled to cancel their Medicare Advantage plan, and
the next month, they can go back to original Medicare. While enrolled in
Medicare Advantage, they will have to use the insurance card provided by
the Medicare Advantage plan instead of their Medicare card.
These plans may cost the participants nothing, or very little, though
many still require the Part B participation amount. A Medicare Advantage
plan is not free however. The plans receive a contribution from CMS every
month, instead of having that tax money go to original Medicare. That is
how the bulk of the plan is paid for, from tax money.
Traditionally, Medicare Advantage Plans were thought of as HMO plans were
an insured person had to use the plan hospitals, doctors, and other
medical providers to be covered. Many Medicare Advantage Plans are HMO
plans. However, PPO Medicare Advantage plans also exist. Fee for Service
Medicare Advantage Plans, or plans that will cover any medical providers
who accept the insurance, are being marketed aggressively these days.
Your own medical needs and preferences will determine which plan will
work out well for you. If your current medical providers contract with
the plan's HMO, then you may be very satisfied with comprehensive
coverage with very little extra payments. If you like more choice, and
area doctors will accept a Free For Service plan then you might consider
an “Any Doctor” plan. Be aware that not all doctors work with the Fee For
Service plans, even though the insurance company claims it will work with
any doctor! A great compromise is provided by PPO plans. You get the
greatest coverage at the lowest price inside the network, but will still
be covered by other medical providers.
Most, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans also contain Part D, or
prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans may have very low,
or no, premium for the insured people beyond their normal Part B premium.
Some plans even refund the Part B premium. Also, Medicare Advantage Plans
are not allowed to do a lot of risk selection based upon health, so they
may be a good choice for less healthy applicants.
A traditional Medicare Supplement is very different from Medicare
Advantage. With Medicare Supplements you still use your original Medicare
Card, and add your Medicare Supplement health card. These plans are also
provided by insurance companies, but they simply supplement the coverage
gaps and deductibles not provided by original Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, your Medicare supplement plan
will pay the portion of your medical bill that Medicare will not pay. Of
course, Medicare supplement plans differ, and so you need to be aware of
exactly which portions a Medicare Supplement plan will pay before you
sign up. For instance, Medicare may be 80% of your hospital bill, and
your supplement will pick up the other 20%.
Medicare supplements come with premiums, and also may exclude unhealthy
individuals. However, they generally provide the broadest access to
health care.
M Katz has helped hundreds of people, including many Medicare
No matter what your age, find great, affordable health insurance plans
that work for you. Find Health Assurance. at

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