We've been helping people find their perfect Medicare plan for over 10 years.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) vs. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) are private plans sold by insurance companies to work alongside your Original Medicare coverage to help cover out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Advantage plans (also called Medicare Part C) are also sold by private insurance companies, but they are used as an alternative your Original Medicare coverage. 

Senior couple reads in library

5 Facts About Medicare Supplement Insurance

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides insurance coverage for a number of health care costs. Medicare Part A and Part B cover in-hospital care and doctors visits, treatment services, medical devices and supplies from Medicare approved providers.

If you want to get the most out of your coverage, Medigap insurance can help you with the out-of-pocket costs that come with Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

1. Medigap is not Medicare Advantage.

Medigap plans supplement Original Medicare benefits and can be used to help pay some of your out-of-pocket costs that come from Medicare-approved health care. Again, Medigap is another name for Medicare Supplement Insurance, so there is no difference between Medigap vs. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. 

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you receive your Medicare benefits from your private health plan instead of through the government.

The insurance company providing the plan may provide additional benefits — such as prescription drug coverage, dental coverage and vision coverage — but will be required to at least provide the basic benefits that Original Medicare offers. Prices and additional benefits will vary by provider.

Unlike Original Medicare, coverage may be provided via a specific network of doctors and hospitals. Depending on the policy, out-of-network services may be more expensive or not covered at all.

You cannot have Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time. Medigap policies do not work with Medicare Advantage plans. 

2. There are 10 standardized Medigap options

You can compare the basic benefits of each type of Medigap plan to find the one that works for your situation. Not every insurance company is required to offer each of the 10 standardized plans. However, the basic benefits for each Medigap plan are standardized by Medicare.

Compare the basic benefits of each type of Medigap plan below.

Chart showing Medigap plan benefits in 2019

3. Your open enrollment period is the best time to purchase a Medigap plan

During your Medigap open enrollment period, Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are offered without medical underwriting. That means insurers cannot deny you coverage or charge more for your Medigap plan based on your medical history or current conditions.

Your Medigap open enrollment period begins as soon as you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. This period only lasts for six months.

4. Medigap plans do not cover prescription drugs

Prescription drugs are covered under Medigap plans to supplement prescription drug costs, but they are no longer available. You can by a standalone Prescription Drug Plan to help pay for your medications.

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage.

5. Medigap plans have the same benefits but not the same rates

Benefits for each type of Medigap plan are standardized — in other words, no matter where you purchase your plan, the coverage is exactly the same.

When you’re deciding on a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, work with a licensed agent who can help you find the right Medigap plan for your health care needs. 

Speak with a licensed agent at 1-888-264-0148 to learn more about your Medigap options.

I want to compare Medicare Supplement Plans.

Start Online
Or chat about my options with an agent:1-888-264-0148

Resource Center

Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement

Learn the key differences between Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance with this helpful guide.

Read More

Getting More From Medicare: Medigap or Medicare Advantage?

If you aren't satisfied with Original Medicare coverage, you may consider Medicare Advantage or Medigap. How do the two differ?

Read More

Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage | Comparing Coverage

Medigap and Medicare Advantage can't work together. Here's what you need to know in order to determine which coverage may fit your personal needs.

Read More

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan Overview

A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, also called Medigap, can help cover some of the costs Original Medicare doesn't, such as copays and deductibles.

Read More

What Is Medigap? | Medicare Supplement Insurance Definition

Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) can help cover copays, coinsurance and deductibles that Original Medicare does not. Here's what you need to know.

Read More

Medigap Insurance for Medicare

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan could save you money. Learn how.

Read More

Switching From Medicare Advantage to Medicare Supplement Insurance

Learn how to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare, and then add Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Read More

The Basic Benefits of Medigap Insurance Plan F vs. Plan A

Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. But what is the difference between Plan F vs. Plan A? Find the coverage you need.

Read More

Medicare Supplement Vs Supplemental Insurance

Medicare Supplement Insurance is not the same as supplemental health insurance. Learn more about the differences in costs and coverage.

Read More