What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement policy and a Medicare Advantage policy?
They both are meant to enhance Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefit coverage. However, they are distinctly different and can not be interchanged.
A Medicare Supplement (also known as a Medigap policy) is purchased for a premium from a private insurance company. The plans are standardized and a good plan (such as Plan F) will basically cover all medical expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Medicare Part C), are plans that are contracted with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). You enroll in a specific plan managed by an insurance company. That plans then is responsible for paying for your medical expenses. You are responsible for co-pays and co-insurance.
These plans have to be ,by law, be as good as or better than Original Medicare. They may include extra benefits such as a built in prescription drug plan and discounts on medical related services