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What is the difference between a Medicare supplement policy and a Medicare advantage policy?

  Kara Farochilen
  March 24, 2023

Original government Medicare includes Part A (hospital) coverage and Part B (outpatient) coverage but only covers 80% of a person’s medical expenses. An individual can add a Plan G Medicare supplement (Medigap policy) to cover all but $226 per year of the 20% of medical expenses not covered by government Medicare. Medicare supplement policies come from various insurance carriers, not the government. With a Medicare supplement policy, you can use ANY doctor or facility of your choice in the U.S. that accepts Medicare.

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan means that you are allowing an insurance carrier to manage your Medicare benefits for you. These plans typically include prescription drug coverage and some other supplemental benefits. The downside of a Medicare Advantage plan is that the networks of providers are more limited and the annual maximum out-of-pocket cost to the plan member can be as high as $8,000 per year. 

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