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Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement? This comparison will help you choose.
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Comparison of Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement

As a physician, you know that Original Medicare only covers 80% of approved costs.  When you retire, you will be looking for a way to cover that remaining 20%.

That’s where Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Supplement insurance (sometimes called Medigap) come in.

Two options, working in different ways.

Both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance cover costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. But they work differently. And one may be better suited to your needs.

Medicare Supplement insurance works with Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Original Medicare pays its benefit to the provider, and the Supplement plan pays all or part of the remaining costs. Medicare Advantage actually replaces Original Medicare, with Medicare paying the private insurance company to cover your care. Then the company, not Medicare, pays benefits to providers who have agreed to accept its payments.

Choose one or the other.

Benefits of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance cannot be combined. And you can’t use the benefits of one to pay premiums of the other. But no matter which one you choose, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B and continue to pay your Part B premium.

Which plan is right for you?

That’s a decision only you can make. It will help to take a look at the plans side-by-side.

Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Insurance Comparison Chart

How they compare on features that count.

What You Need to Know Medicare Advantage Medicare Supplement Insurance
Does the plan have a nationwide network? No Yes
Are there copayments to providers? Yes Not on most plans.
Are out-of-pocket expenses predictable? No Yes
Will I need referrals? Yes No
Can the insurer cancel my policy? Yes No, as long as the premiums are paid
Can I use the insurance for any doctor who accepts Medicare when I travel in the U.S.? No Yes
Are there benefits for foreign travel health emergencies? Some policies cover medical emergencies that arise during foreign travel. Yes, there are some plans offering foreign travel benefits.
Can I switch plans if I’m not happy? Yes, there are two annual open enrollment periods when you can change plans or return to Original Medicare. Yes, you may, but you may not be guaranteed issue if you decide to switch plans.
When can I sign up? You can sign up during your enrollment period for Medicare, including the three months before and three months after your birthday month. There are also annual open enrollment periods (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) when you can add a Medicare Advantage plan. You are guaranteed issue of a policy if you sign up within the sixth months following your 65th birthday and Part B enrollment.* There can be other opportunities if you retain group or employer health coverage OR
if you have signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan and you’re not happy with it.
What about my spouse? A separate policy is required. A separate policy is required but inquire about discounts when both spouses are insured.

Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional features and benefits, like some vision, hearing and dental services. In addition, some plans may choose to offer coverage for services like transportation to doctor visits, over the counter drugs, and services to promote health and wellness. Benefits, eligibility and limits may vary by plan.

Do physicians have a preference?

Yes, according to the insurance professionals at AMA Insurance. Many physicians appreciate the ease and flexibility of a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, with no network, no need for referrals, and its wider selection of providers.

This is just the beginning.

The chart above is a brief overview to get you started, and with all the variables, you will want to take a closer look. When you are ready, you can always call on the licensed agent/producers of AMA Insurance. Specialists in the insurance needs of physicians, they have been offering plans that protect physicians’ families and assets for more than 30 years.

Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or Federal Medicare Program.

* Important Information:
Kentucky: IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE PLAN DURING OPEN ENROLLMENT YOU MUST BE TURNING 65 OR OLDER. IF YOU ARE UNDER 65 AND ENROLLED IN BOTH MEDICARE PART A AND PART B AND YOU QUALIFY FOR A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE PLAN, THE COMPANY MAY PERFORM UNDERWRITING IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A GUARANTEED ISSUE PERIOD.

Missouri: In order to qualify for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan during open enrollment you must be turning 65 or have part B. A Medicare Supplement insurance plan may also be available to people under age 65 with certain disabilities and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Persons who are covered by a Medicare Supplement insurance plan may move to another company within 30 days of their annual policy anniversary date and the company must issues, on a guaranteed issue basis, a policy which is the same as the plan under which the insured was most recently covered.

New York: MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE IS ALWAYS GUARANTEED ISSUE AND OPEN ENROLLED IN NEW YORK.

Texas: Open enrollment is the 6 month period beginning on the first day of the month in which you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you are on Medicare under age 65, you will also have a 6 month open enrollment period when you reach age 65.

OUTLINE OF COVERAGE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

Medicare Supplement insurance products underwritten by Transamerica Life insurance Company (TLIC), 6400 C Street SW, Cedar Rapds, IA 52499 or Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company (TFLIC), 440 Mamaroneck Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528. TFLIC is licensed to conduct business new New York. TLIC is authorized to conduct business in all other states. In some states, Medicare Supplement insurance plans are available to qualified individual under age 65.

To maintain these valuable benefits, AMA is reimbursed for administrative expenses incurred in connection with this program.

No portion of AMA membership dues is used by AMA Insurance Agency, Inc. to support the marketing efforts of the AMA-sponsored Medicare Supplement Insurance Program.

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