Medicare Supplement Options

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Medicare Supplement Options

There are two basic Medicare supplement options that one can consider when eyeing a supplemental health insurance policy. These options are Medigap and Medicare Advantage. Both options offer different ways towards securing a supplemental health insurance plan so a person looking to get one should properly consider the pros and cons of each before deciding to pick one over the other.

Here’s a rough guide on what you can expect when evaluating Medicare supplement options for yourself or for a loved one:

•Medigap. Most Medicare policy holders prefer Medigap as their supplemental health insurance policy of choice. Medigap policies are offered by private companies subject to stringent government regulations on the exact benefits covered in each plan. To put it in simple terms, the government rolls out a guideline for Medigap plans and what benefits can be contained in each plan. Private insurance companies accredited by the national and state health agencies then offer these plans to policy holders. Because the coverage is exactly the same for each plan regardless of who offers it, private insurance companies try to outdo themselves by pricing the plans differently. This is one of the biggest reasons why Medicare holders prefer this Medicare supplement option; because comparing different offers from different companies boils down to a question of price.

•Medicare Advantage. The other side of the Medicare supplement options discussion is Medicare Advantage. Technically, it is not a supplement to Medicare although many people treat it as such. Medicare Advantage is actually an alternative to basic Medicare but the reason why many consider it as a Medicare supplemental policy is because it covers many of the basic benefits contained in Medicare, and then some additional benefits to offset those beyond the scope of traditional Medicare. Advantage plans are also priced differently depending on the coverage, so the comparison between offers may be more difficult than with Medigap.

So how can you choose between the two Medicare supplement options? The easiest answer to this question lies in assessing your needs as a policy holder and then finding which of the offered options fit your need best. For Medigap, you can find plenty of resources at the Medicare website using the Medigap Policy Finder tool. You can simply enter your ZIP code and it will give you a list of companies that sell Medigap in your area. You can look through the price and benefits of each plan to see if there is anything that embraces your needs at a rate that you can afford. For Medicare Advantage, there is a corresponding Medicare Plan Finder at the Medicare website which also gives a comprehensive comparison of the options available to you.

So, which of these two Medicare supplement options do you prefer? Choose carefully so you can avail of the full benefit of your supplemental health insurance for all your regular medical needs.