EXPLAINING MEDICARE PLANS

Before getting Medicare Supplement Plans 2019, some things should be known. Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, are standardized insurance policies that fill in the gaps of Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage Plans are often mistaken for Medicare supplements. They are not. Part A of Medicare is for hospitals and Part B is for doctors and other medical services. Under Part A, the government pays for 60 days of a hospital stay. Medicare Part B has a small deductible and then picks up 80% of approved medical services. Supplement are available in several designs with most paying for the Part A deductible and the 20% gap in Part B.

Medicare Advantage plans for 2019 do not fill in the gaps of Parts A and B and can be quoted at https://www.medicaresupplementplans2019.com/aarp-medicare-supplement-plans-2019/Instead, they replace Medicare with a private insurance plan. Usually offered as HMO or PPO coverage, the plans commonly have networks of doctors and hospitals that have signed on to provide services in return for co-payments from the members and the insurance company. The HMO style plans require you to use only network providers except in the case of a true medical emergency. PPO plans allow for reduced benefits outside the network.

Medicare supplements are normally more expensive than Advantage Plans. Most fill in the gaps completely, leaving you with very little in out-of-pocket costs. Advantage plans, on the other hand, have lower monthly premium costs but will usually have you pay more when you get medical services. When you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you are technically covered under medicare Part C, and your Part A and B coverage are deactivated. You would not be able to use your Medicare card for medical services.

Even though your Medicare A and B are not active, you continue to have the premium for Part B deducted from your social security check. The government is using that payment as part of the funding mechanism for your Advantage plan. In fact, the private insurance plan gets even more money from the government for taking over the full financial risk for providing you with health

care. Advantage Plans usually will have prescription coverage as part of the package at no additional premium cost. Supplements don’t. If you have a Medigap policy, you’ll have to buy a separate Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you want coverage for medications from a pharmacy. This in a way sorts many assumptions.