Medicare Advantage vs Medicare Supplement Plan: Which One Is Better?

Medicare Advantage & Medicare Supplement plans are 2 options seniors have when it comes to insurance coverage along with the Federal program. Even though they might seem to have some similarities, both the plans vary greatly overall and need to be taken into account individually for determining which can fit your needs better. Most times, a supplemental plan as long as you qualify for it medically and are able to afford it can be most beneficial.


The simplest means to know the difference is remembering that the Advantage policy pays as a substitute to Medicare, whereas supplements compensate after Medicare. Basically, you can consider Advantage plans as a privatized version of the Federal program, and thus then substitute it (even though you can still participate in the government policy, it simply contrary can be designed for filling the gaps of the program run by the government.


There are a number of reasons why a supplemental plan proves more beneficial than the Advantage plan. Below are a few of these explanations can be found at


You can use a Medigap plan or supplemental plan at your chosen doctor who takes the government program. On the other hand, most Advantage plans feature networks of hospitals or doctors which the senior need to stay within. In a few regions, such networks aren’t thoroughly developed. Meaning you might end up driving a lpng way to reach the network physician.


Supplements don’t normally employ sharing of cost, many policies cover the twenty percent not covered within the government program in addition to one (or both) deductibles. Advantage coverage utilizes cost-sharing (co-pays & deductibles) as a segment of their plans. Quite a few Advantage plans have co-pays that range between $15 to $40 at the physician’s office, along with a day-to-day hospital co-pays for the initial five to ten days, hospital admission co-pays and/or deductibles.


Supplemental policy doesn’t change coverage each year – they are Federally-standardized and they’ve stayed the same since the year 1992. Unlike supplements, Advantage plans may change on an annual basis.


To conclude, it is safe to assume that both the insurance options for seniors above the age of 65 have their own benefits. Still, if the person becomes eligible for a supplement Medicare plan and is able to afford it in financial terms, it can definitely turn out to be a more advantageous option for seniors.

Open Enrollment for Medicare Supplement Plan: Things to Consider

The Open Enrollment term of the Medicare Supplement Plan is the time when you are able to purchase the policy from your preferred insurance agency, without paying a higher amount because of any previous or present health issues, requiring to qualify medically, or waiting for the coverage. And since the enrollment is Federally mandated, all the insurance firms are required to abide by it.


Medicare Supplement Plan Open Enrollment: When Is It?


The initial period of enrollment starts on the 1st of each month where the senior is both above the age of 65 and enrolled in Part B of the Medicare Plan. It continues for a duration of 180 days from the given date. For instance, in case your birthday is on Feb 1 and you purchase Part B Medicare to begin on Feb 1 of the same year, then the Open Enrollment term for you would start on Feb 1 & last thru the month of July.


One thing which results in confusion in knowing when the period for Open Enrollment falls is the fact that quite a few insurance agencies offering the plan also extend the 180-day period before the Open Enrollment for the person begins. In this period, the senior is allowed you to register for the coverage which isn’t effective till the actual effective date of Part B (many times, the same as 1st of the month in which the person turns 65). Here, the person would have a 1-year period for signing up without any medical underwriting.


For those having group health coverage by the employer, it’s good to delay your participation in Part B program till you close or lose the group policy. This way, you are guaranteed to be eligible for Open Enrollment term at a later stage.


How Does It Work?  Find out at


Within this period, the person doesn’t need to discuss medications, answer any questions related to their health or take the physical examination by the insurer.


This way, the underwriting can be quite easy, and the person is able to participate at the right time and with minimal complications.


Besides, the insurance agency, under no situation can force the policyholder to pay a greater amount or reject his/her coverage.


Thus, it’s important for you to enroll in the Supplemental plan within the Open Enrollment term. Registering at the initial stage is definitely a sure-fire way of securing a financial future with minimum health care expenditures and unnecessary headache.

Medicare supplement plans and advantage plans at the same time?

First of all before understanding whether can you have a Medicare supplement plans and advantages plans or not, we need to learn what are a Medicare supplement plans and advantage plans. Everyone who is interested in Medicare supplement plans or advantage plans should have this question in their mind. It is obvious because everyone wants to benefit from these plans in clever way.

What is a Medicare supplement plan?

General Medicare plans pays most of the health care cost and expenses but doesn’t cover all of the cost. Medicare supplement plan was thus introduced by insurance company which help us pay hospital and medical bills that general Medicare plans don’t cover like copayment, coinsurance etc. You can enroll in an Aetna Medicare supplement plan by visiting These do not cover long term care, dental, hearing and vision. For example- cost of making eye glasses or lens are not covered by Medicare supplement plans.

What is a Medicare advantage plan?

Medicare advantage plan mostly covers all the policy of general Medicare plans. If one is taking Medicare advantage plan then it covers hospice care and other medical studies cost if necessary for your health. The main benefit of Medicare advantage plan is you are always considered for emergency and needed health care. Most Medicare advantage plans cover dental, hearing, vision and sometimes also cover prescribed drugs.

Can you have a Medicare supplement plans and advantage plans?

You might be confused about whether you can have a Medicare supplement plan alongside advantage plan. I would say, no you can’t have both of these plans. Medicare supplement plans can’t be used to pay cost of Medicare advantage plans like premium. Thus, you have an option; either chooses Medicare supplement plans or Medicare advantage plans.

Which is better: Medicare supplement plans and Medicare advantage plans?

Understanding thoroughly, general Medicare plans are named Part A and Part B. Medicare supplement plans and Medicare advantage plans both covers all the policy of Part A and Part B i.e. one should take both policy part A and part B to have Medicare supplement or advantage plans. Moreover, Medicare advantage plans are called Part C policy. If you are about to buy Medicare advantage plans, you can leave Medicare supplement plans because there is no advantage of having both the plans. Medicare supplement plans can’t be used to pay cost of advantage plans.

Thus it is your own need and preference that decide whether to take Medicare supplement plans or Medicare advantage plans.