What Is the Difference between the Medicare Advantage Plan and the Medicare Supplement Plan?

CA Medicare Announcement

When it comes to Medicare insurance, there is a lot of confusion. Medicare has various plans that have their own details, and it’s often confused with Medicaid, on top of things. If you are looking into a Medicare plan and want to know what some of your options are, the information below should help you figure things out so that you can make the right decision for both your health and finances.


Medicare Is Not Medicaid

First of all, know that Medicare and Medicaid are two different plans. Medicare is age dependent, whereas Medicaid is income dependent. Sometimes the two can be used together, but only if certain qualifications are met. You can apply for both plans and see what you get approved for. In essence, Medicaid only supplements Medicare, so that you don’t have to pay the premium. If you are old enough to qualify for Medicare, but you don’t make enough money to pay the premiums, you may qualify for a limited Medicaid plan, depending on the details of your finances. However, there are strict limits in place so that people don’t take advantage of this option when they really shouldn’t.

Medicare Supplemental Plan

A Medicare Supplemental plan is exactly what it sounds like. It works with other insurance plans to meet your health needs. It supplements your existing health plan. It also doesn’t have service area limits, like the Advantage plan, so many seniors who might live in one area for part of the year and another area for another part of the year don’t have issues with establishing residency for a minimum length of time. However, what this plan supplements is somewhat limited, so it works best when combined with an extensive insurance plan that covers just about everything.

If you have another insurance plan other than Medicaid, you probably have a co-pay and a deductible. This plan pays for the co-pay and deductible so you don’t have to, but it doesn’t take care of other services. For example, it doesn’t offer any kind of prescription plan. Dental and vision aren’t included, and neither is hearing. You’ll need to qualify for plan A or B as well.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is also known as Medicare Part C. In order to qualify for it, you have to live within the service area where you applied for it. You also need to have Medicare part A or B. However, it’s easier to get this plan than the supplemental plan because, for the most part, the only applications that aren’t accepted and which meet the limited qualifications are those that involve individuals with end stage renal disease.

The Advantage plan is far more extensive and covers more than just co-pays and deductibles. It can be used on its own to cover medical costs, and it includes also includes dental, hearing, vision, and prescription coverage.

It’s always important to read the details of each plan carefully, because you need to get as much health coverage as you possibly can, for a price you can afford. If you can’t get coverage for everything, talk with your medical professionals about discounts they might offer to people who have one of these plans.