- Medicare Advantage Plans (MAs) usually cost less in up front premium than Medigap Plans. MA plans may include additional benefits like dental, hearing, vision, transportation, foreign travel and other benefits that Original Medicare does not cover. Some MAs limit the use of Medicare covered services with in-network doctors or facilities. MAs may require referrals to see providers. With MAs you get one card to visit providers and utilize prescription drug benefits (if available on your MA plan.) Providers can choose to leave an MA plan at any time, which means you may need to change your provider to remain in the network for your MA benefits.
- Medicare Supplement (Medigap) generally covers medical services with any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare assignments. Some Medigap plans cover you even when you travel outside of the U.S. and in all 50 states. No referrals are required to visit providers nationwide. Benefits cover the out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare Parts A and B. Benefit coverage depends on the Medigap plan you are choosing. Medigap plans do not usually include prescription drug coverage. You will need to apply for a separate Part D for this coverage.
Whether you choose Medicare Advantage Plans or Medigap Plans depends on your budget, medical services needed, and whether you travel often outside of your service area.