At a basic level, both are insurance programs with people for Medicare. There are very big differences between these two types of insurance, although both are options for people with Medicare. On a technical level, only medigap plans are truly supplemental – but Advantage does provide extra benefits for those in Medicare.
Breaking things down further requires knowing a bit more about the plans. Medigap insurance is private insurance, and it can help you to cover some of the expense not covered by Medicare – including some of your Part B costs. There are ten types of policies, but they’re actually standard between providers.
Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, is simply an alternate type of coverage. Each Advantage plan has to cover the same bases as Medicare, but may also have extra benefits. These plans tend to charge extra premiums, but may cover issues like prescription coverage. Medicare Advantage also requires that you stick within a given network, unless you want to be charged more for out-of-network coverage.
As a note, you can’t have both types of coverage – it is illegal for insurers to sell Medicare Advantage policies to those who already have Medigap.
Making the Best Choice
If you want to make the best insurance choice, you should start by doing a bit of research. Each option has its selling points, but it is always best to go to the source to find out more.
If you want to find out more about this type of coverage, you should go directly to the Medigap Policy finder (available here). Once you arrive at the page, you can enter your zip code and find a chart of the policies and Medigap rates offered in your area. You will also be able to find contact information for the insurance providers who offer coverage in your area. Be wary, though – those who have Medicare due to disabilities may not be eligible for coverage until the age of 65.
Finding information on Medicare is as simple as going to the Medicare Plan Finder at this website. Once again, you will be able to find your pertinent information by entering your zip code on the finder. You should find a fair number of health plans, which will include details such as premiums and prescription coverage. These programs are available to all beneficiaries of Medicare, often making them better options for those on disability – though those with end-stage renal failure may not be covered under Advantage.