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You might be familiar with Original Medicare, but you should also learn what you can about Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans. Both offer alternatives to Original Medicare that help you save money, enjoy more coverage, and gain peace of mind.

Medicare Advantage, also called MA or Medicare Part C, come from private insurance companies that Medicare has approved. When you have an MA plan, Medicare pays the private insurance company, and the insurer pays the providers you use.

Read on to learn how Medicare Advantage plans work so you’re more informed about your options.

Costs Associated With Medicare Advantage Plans

What you’ll pay for Medicare Advantage plans depends on the specific plan for which you apply. Most involve monthly premiums, though some will cover your Medicare Part B premium.

Lunch with friends, check. Medigap plan, check.

When investigating your options, look for several different types of costs you might have to pay:

  • Premium: Your monthly payment to the insurance company to keep the plan active.
  • Deductible: The amount of money you must pay to providers before the insurance company begins to pick up the costs.
  • Copayments: What you owe to individual providers at the time of services rendered.
  • Coinsurance: The portion of payment to a provider that you owe.

Medicare Advantage Plans Versus Medigap Plans

Medigap, which is also called Medicare Supplemental insurance, is different from Medicare Part C. You’ll have Original Medicare Parts A and B as well as a separate insurance policy that covers different types of costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

Many patients prefer Medigap because it offers more flexibility. It can also increase your savings and help you budget your healthcare costs more efficiently.

Investigate both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap plans to decide which is more suitable for your specific needs. You can comparison shop before you turn age 65 so you’re prepared to take advantage of the coverage provided to you.