Trying to figure out which Medicare plan will best cover your needs can be a real challenge. Most people need some coverage beyond just original Medicare since it will only cover 80% of your healthcare needs. That may sound like a lot, but if you need surgery or an expensive procedure, you could be on the line for tens of thousands of dollars once you figure in a hospital stay. Since most people cannot afford the remaining 20%, there are other options. While they may cost slightly more each month, Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans could save you thousands of dollars each year.
Part C Advantage plans and supplemental plans work in very different ways. In a nutshell, Advantage plans offer more of a pay-as-you-go model, whereas you will pay money upfront with a supplemental plan. The plan you choose will really depend on your health and what your average medical needs look like.
Relatively Healthy, Occasional Doctors Visits
If you are pretty healthy and only go to the doctor for your yearly checkups or the occasional cold, you will probably save a ton of money by signing up for an Advantage plan. They can be fairly cheap and leave you with only small copays for services you may need.
Serious Health Problems in the Past, Frequent Doctors Visits
If you fear that you may have serious health problems in the future, a supplemental plan may be the direction you want to go in. Some people choose to get an Advantage plan until they start experiencing more serious health problems, though they sometimes have a lag in coverage before they are able to switch.
Currently Experiencing Health Problems, Very Frequent Doctors Visits
Without a doubt, you need a supplemental plan in this case. Supplemental plans are quite a bit upfront each month, but then, depending on your plan, all of your needs are covered. You will not have a copay for your doctors' visits or hospital stays. Any surgeries needed will be covered. Rehabilitation facilities will allow you to stay longer to get the care you need. Supplemental plans will save you thousands of dollars.
In conclusion, the more medical needs you have, the more likely it is that you should choose a supplemental plan over an Advantage plan. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a supplemental plan. If you have a fixed income and are unable to make it work, there are some Advantage plans that offer a bit more coverage. Contact an insurance agency that offers Medicare Supplement plans to learn more.