Medigap or Medicare Advantage

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Medigap or Medicare Advantage

Medigap or Medicare advantage: that’s a question that puts people in their retirement years into a serious-thinking mode. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to such a dilemma. Both Medigap and Medicare Advantage has its own fair share of pros and cons and the decision ultimately boils down to which one works best for you.

The only way one can make a definitive decision to resolve this dilemma is to take the time to understand the merits and demerits of both plans while in the process of selecting a supplemental health insurance policy. There are many considerations, but you can start with the following basic information.

Medigap Plans These are administered by private health insurance companies following regulations released by the federal government. The structure of the program is very simple; the federal government releases a guideline for which plans can offer which specific coverage. As of early 2013, a total of 10 Medigap plans can be offered by private health insurance companies. These regulations ensure that there is uniform coverage for every type of plan that is being offered. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you are in California or Florida or if you are talking to Company X or Company Y. At the end of the day, a Medigap Plan A will always have the same coverage regardless of who is offering it.

This simplified approach to supplemental health insurance allows you to compare different offers from different companies for whichever plan you deem fits your needs. Your task is simply to figure out which Medigap plan meets your daily needs and then simple comparison between offers gives you the best option to sign up for.

Medicare Advantage Plans Private health insurance firms also administer Medicare Advantage but with one crucial difference; insurers have all the leeway to define the coverage for the different plans that they are offering. The downside is easy to spot here; comparing different Medicare Advantage plans is a nightmare, much less looking at whether you should get Medigap or Medicare Advantage.

However, Medicare Advantage plans can also offer benefits that may not be available to Medigap. In certain cases, there are plans that cover vision or dental concerns and this can be a definite positive for those who are in need of such plans. According to statistics, about 25% of Americans end up getting Medicare Advantage over Medigap.

No matter what your situation, it is important that the Medigap or Medicare Advantage debate boils down to which plan matches your needs best. With Medicare Advantage, you will likely need a longer time to assess your options, although the plan may eventually end up cheaper than Medigap and with more benefits added in. Only you can determine how to approach your need vis-à-vis which supplemental plan offers the best solution to your needs. If you take the time and effort to find a resolution to this concern, then in the end it does not matter whether you have Medigap or Medicare Advantage.