Medigap or Medicare Advantage: which is better?

Medicare original has four basic parts – A, B, C, and D. These plans provide basic coverage for people above 65 years of age. However, there are parts that these policies do not cover and could be a liability in case anyone falls seriously ill. It might become difficult for a person to pay the deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance if this happens as these are not covered under the Medicare plans. To cover these costs Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare advantage plans come to the rescue.

Medicare advantages plans or Medigap:

Medigap plans protect individuals who buy Medicare from these extra expenses incurred during treatment. For this, the insurance companies charge a premium for this policy in addition to the premium paid for Medicare Part A and B and D. There are ten options available for Medigap policy purchasers. The policy ranges from A, B, C-G, K, L, M, and N. These plans are standardized across and within states though there might be certain differences among states and hence, the costs also might differ. In case the hospital or clinic does not accept Medicare patients, Medigap will not be able to cover any costs.

Medicare Advantage:  Enroll in a plan at

A Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare part C) provides a comparatively lower cost than the Medicare advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plan requires paying a premium along with the premium for Part B in most cases. Medicare Advantage plans are similar to policies of private health insurances and cover hospital visits, surgery, and small copayment. These plans can also offer HMO or PPO network plans and also put a limit on the yearly total expenses.

Which is better?

  • Lifestyle:

Medicare advantage plans would be a better option in case there is a lot travel to different states all throughout the year is involved. Some Medigap plans provide coverage even while traveling outside of United States and also cover in all the states within the US while Medicare Advantage plans usually do not.

  • Cost:

Medigap policies have a higher monthly premium but also result in lower expenses as compared to advantage plans but advantage plans cost less and cover more services.

  • Choice:

Medicare advantage generally limits the doctors and facilities between HMO and PPO and may also not cover expenses out of the network area. While Medicare advantage plans allow getting treatment from any hospital that accepts Medicare patients and it might be useful to consider the regular hospital visits, travel and any necessary specialists needed for treatment.