You may add a Medicare supplement plan, a standalone Part D plan, or both to Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
Medicare Supplement Plans are mostly designed to cover the portion of the cost that is left behind by Original Medicare parts A & B.
Medicare Supplements have a monthly premium and typically increase a few percent each year as we age.
Typically, Medicare supplements do not have provider networks like Medicare Advantage plans, allowing beneficiaries to see doctors who participate in Medicare across the country without a referral. These types of plans allow for more flexibility in seeing providers.
Medicare supplements do not offer prescription drug coverage, which may require one to be purchased.
There are a variety of different plans available, and some will cover more than others.
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover prescription drugs. Many people who choose Original Medicare add a prescription drug plan (Part D) or choose a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D. Medicare Part D plans are required to cover certain common types of drugs, but each plan may choose which specific drugs it covers.
Parts A + B
Parts A + B plus Part D prescription coverage
Parts A + B plus a Medicare supplement plan
Parts A + B plus both Part D prescription coverage and a Medicare supplement plan
Advantage plans are privately managed healthcare plans that combine Medicare Part A and B, and in some cases include Part D (prescription drug coverage). Consider it an “all in one” plan. A common question we get is “why would I want a private insurance company to manage my Medicare benefits?” The answer is simple. Medicare Advantage plan carriers are required to provide you equal or better coverage than traditional Medicare. What that means is that you get all the benefits of your Part A hospitalization coverage and all the benefits of your Part B general healthcare coverage, with (in most cases) prescription drug coverage (Part D). In addition, some plans provide coverage for dental, vision, holistic healthcare, gym memberships, and more!
Typically, there is no additional expense for selecting a Medicare Advantage plan above your required Plan B monthly premium! Normally, this monthly fee is far less than you would spend by purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan. You then only pay the applicable copay(s) for the services you use.