Factors Influencing the Choice Between Medicare Supplement Plan and Medicare Advantage

Introduction

There has been a continuous debate over which is better- Medicare Supplement Plan G or Medicare Advantage Plans. Though each of them comes with their pros and cons, it is important for potential customers to thoroughly assess the plans before making the purchase. The following are the major factors which can influence the customers to prefer one over the other:

 

Pre-Existing Health Condition

If a customer opts to buy the Medicare Supplement plan during the Original Enrolment Period (OEP), then they cannot be refused by the insurance companies to issue the policy. During the OEP, the insurance company has to sell the policy to the customers as long as they are paying the premium irrespective of their pre-existing health status. In a Medigap policy, the customers pay the same monthly premium irrespective of how many times they visit the doctor. Hence, Medigap policy is ideal for customers having pre-existing health conditions.

 

Flexibility

If customers have a Medicare Advantage plan initially then even if they want to switch to a Medicare Supplement plan after more than 12 months, they may not be able to do so. They can be refused the Medigap policy on medical history and health status. On the other hand, customers can take a Medigap policy and assess their health status, and if they do not have any major health issues, they can easily move to a Medicare Advantage plan.

 

Cost

The Medicare Supplement plans are more expensive compared to the Medicare Advantage plans. The average monthly premium for Medigap policies can range from $150-$200 and are determined by many factors like age, medical history etc. The Medicare Advantage plans are cheaper and the monthly premium vary between $0-$100. All customers pay the same monthly premium irrespective of any factors. Hence budget friendly customers can prefer Medicare Advantage plans.

 

Administrative Paperwork

With a Medigap policy, the customers will have to keep track of documents and bills related to Original Medicare, Part D Drug Prescription Plan, and Medicare Supplement Plan. They will have to pay three different monthly bills and keep records of multiple documents. Medicare Advantage plans have much lesser paperwork to track and are cost-effective. Customers who want to cut down on the cost and paperwork can prefer Medicare Advantage plans.

 

Choice of Healthcare Service Providers

The Medigap policies provide the flexibility to the customers to visit any doctors or hospitals of their choice for availing the policy benefits. The Medicare Advantage plans, however, limit the choices of healthcare service providers to their network for availing the benefits. Customers wanting to access larger network of healthcare service providers should opt for Medicare Supplement plans.