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Is the Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan better? differences between them

Medicare members are able to purchase two types of plans to supplement and enhance their coverage: Medigap and Medicare Advantage. How do they differ?

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Is the Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan better? differences between them
MARCELO DEL POZO REUTERS

Medicare members have two options to supplement their basic coverage to include more services and reduce costs: Medigap and Medicare Advantage.

What are Medigap Plans?

A Medigap Plan can be purchased by members to bring down the costs of Medicare. Purchased through a private insurance company, Medigap Plans cover many costs like co-payments and deductibles.

What are the differences between Medigap Plans?

In 2021, there were twelve Medigap plans available to members. Some plans are focused on keeping copayments low, while others bring down deductibles meaning that members will pay fewer out-of-pocket costs before their insurance kicks in.

Plans are labeled A through N and allow greater flexibility to members in that they can make Original more coverage more personalized to their health and financial needs.

However, not all these plans are available in all regions of the country. To find out which plans are available in your area, you can use the Medicare Plan Finder tool. Additionally, it is important to note that some plans are not available to those who are newly eligible for Medicare. This factor could impact the plan selection, as many of the most popular plans, are not available to them.

What are the most popular Medigap plans?

Plan F

Plan F is a common favorite for those who make frequent trips to their doctor's office. The plan's structure allows members to monthly co-payment that replaces their Medicare Part B copay and brings their deductible down to zero. Most Medicare members are required to pay a copay each time they go to the doctor or hospital, and Plan F eliminates these additional costs.

According to Medicare FAQ, an online resource for members, in 2021 those who enrolled in Plan F paid a copayment between $130-$230 per month. The prices for Plan F depend on various factors including "your location, gender, age, tobacco use, and more. However, it could be more or less depending on your zip code as well as other factors."

Plan G

Plan F, while attractive to many members, is only available to those who were enrolled before 2020. For those looking for similar benefits, Plan G may be a good option.

Plan G ensures that members will not receive surprise medical bills. The plan covers all the same services as Plan F and only differs in that members are responsible for a monthly premium, and must reach their $203 deductible before coverage kicks in. In 2021, most enrollees paid a monthly premium between $100 and $210.

More information on the types of plans available can be found at medicarefaq.com.

Who is eligible and how do you sign up?

Those who are sixty-five and six months are eligible to purchase a Medigap plan. Like other optional Medicare plans, those for Medigap are available through the Medicare Plan Finder tool.

What are Medicare Advantage Plans?

 Medicare Advantage Plans, or Medicare Part C, can be purchased to increase the services covered by Medicare to include dental, sight, and hearing benefits. Medigap plans do not include these benefits as they are solely focused on keeping costs down.

Who should enroll in each type of plan?

Those looking for increased coverage to include dental and other specific needs should consider a Medicare Advantage Plan. Other members hoping to purchase a plan to bring down their health care costs should consider Medigap.