Your Online Resource for Medicare Insurance: Guiding you along the maze of Medicare

Senior Citizens Have A Choice

I would like to explain the differences between a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan, and also give you my personal opinion on the plans.  Before I begin to analyze each plan please understand that there are people who will argue till they are blue in the face that one is better than the other, but in all actuality each one has characteristics that serve a purpose.

Medicare Supplements Medicare Advantage Plans (MA)
Larger network: any doctor/hospital that accepts Medicare Smaller network: PPO, HMO, PFFS are a few of the plan types that restrict you from being able to see any doctor you want.
These plans supplement Original Medicare, which means they pick up specific deductibles and co-insurance in Original Medicare Takes over Original Medicare’s claim responsibility
Medigap plans have very little exposure Exposure can be very large & vary each year
Larger premium: typically increases yearly by 8% Lower Premiums
Benefits are standardized and are constant as long as the policy is in force Benefits typically change each year (sometimes better, sometimes worse)

Medicare supplements have been standardized since 1992 and they have been a tremendous way for seniors to stay on a budget through a simple premium and usually no deductibles or co-pays for Medicare approved services.  There are very few plans that can guarantee you the same benefits year after year and provide you with an outstanding network of physicians like Medicare supplements can.

Morgan White Group has been in the insurance industry over 20 years and has dealt in the senior market for the past 10 years. With what we have seen and learned Medicare Supplements seem to be the more secure and stable option for the long haul. 

Medicare Advantage plans can have very attractive layouts for a very low premium.  Sometimes your premium can be as low as $0 (I even saw in 2006 where they were crediting enrollees Part B premium $22 a month).  Sometimes you get what you pay for! 

Medicare Advantage plans are usually PPO, HMO, SNP, or a PFFS plan, which means they have smaller networks of physicians than Medicare does.  Also some of these networks can change throughout the year or can accept/reject someone on a case by case basis. Medicare Advantage plans do offer a Maximum out of Pocket to their enrollees which Original Medicare by itself does not offer. 

For instance, if you had a surgery that cost $100,000 under Part B, your co-insurance could be close to $20,000, but under a Medicare Advantage plan you would be capped off at the maximum out of pocket level of that Medicare Advantage  plan. 

There are positive and negatives of these plans, but understand you need to discuss this with someone who truly understands these plans.  MWG Senior Services is an organization that has Certified Senior Advisors that can help you review the plans and see which one can best meet your needs.