Medicare Supplements vs. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplements vs. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are both offered by private insurance companies. However, they work differently and serve different purposes.

The Basics

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and provide the same benefits offered by Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage plans also offer extra benefits that are not offered by Original Medicare, such as prescription drug benefits, routine dental services, or fitness programs. To sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Some plans have premiums that cost as low as $0, though you must continue to pay your Part B premiums.

With Medicare Advantage plans, you get your Original Medicare benefits and more from a private insurer. However, Medicare Supplement plans help to cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare. It covers the copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and foreign travel emergency expenses associated with Medicare Part A and Part B.

To qualify, you must have Part A and Part B.


Though Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies, they are regulated by the government and thus standardized. There are 10 available Supplement plans lettered from Plan A to Plan N. And, while Medicare Supplement plans help cover certain out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans do not.

Medicare Advantage plans offer additional coverage in addition to Original Medicare coverage, but they will not cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles or coinsurance. Not only is this a significant difference but most Medicare Supplement plans allow you to visit any doctor who accepts Medicare while Medicare Advantage plans usually have specific provider networks.

Medicare Supplement plans also do not include prescription drug coverage, but you can purchase a standalone prescription drug plan. However, most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage.

Deciding between a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan is entirely up to the type of coverage you would like to receive. At Medigap Supplement Headquarters, we can help you break down your coverage needs exactly. Reach out to us today to get your coverage started.