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Medicare Advantage
vs. Medicare Supplements

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance are different. Medicare Advantage replaces Original Medicare while Medicare Supplement (Medigap) is a supplement to Original Medicare and provides coverage for your Medicare copays and coinsurance. Keep in mind, with Medicare Advantage, you will still have Medicare copays and coinsurance – in other words, there will still be gaps. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans are both available through independent insurance providers required by law to abide by government regulations. Let’s examine the difference between the two. 

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is a bundled insurance plan which combines Parts A and B into one plan. It may also include Part D (prescription drug coverage) or even additional services like vision, hearing, or dental. This is categorized as a Part C plan.

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) is Medicare Supplement Insurance that helps fill “gaps” in Original Medicare and is sold by private companies. Original Medicare pays for much, but not all, of the cost for covered health care services and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy can help pay some of the remaining health care costs, like: 

  • Copayments
  • Coinsurance
  • Deductibles

Some Medigap policies also cover services that Original Medicare does not cover such as medical care for emergencies when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy, here is what happens: 

  • Medicare will pays its share of the Medicare-Approved Amount for covered health services
  • Then your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy pays its share

Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) is not a part of the government’s Medicare insurance program, but it is purchased in addition to it. This program allows you to customize your insurance plan to your exact needs while covering more out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare does not cover. Many people find that even with Original Medicare, the copays, coinsurance, and deductibles can be costly. A supplemental plan, like Medicare Supplement (Medigap), can help protect you against your portion of unexpected medical bills. 


Another welcome plus to Medicare Supplement insurance is that there is no required network, unlike most Medicare Advantage plans, which limit you to a network of doctors, and a particular area. That means that with Medicare Supplement (Medigap), you have the freedom to see any physician that accepts Medicare even if you are traveling far from home. 


Keep in mind that these are two distinct types of insurance, and you cannot enroll in both. While an Advantage Plan is bundled and makes one plan out of many parts, it is still not necessarily complete coverage. The best way to maximize coverage and be seen by any doctor who accepts Medicare, regardless of the network, is Original Medicare coupled with Medicare Supplement (Medigap). 

Learn More About Your Medicare Options Today

If you are interested in learning more about the differences between Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at The Benefit Link would love to answer any questions you may have.


There is no charge to clients for our services. We would be honored to help walk you through this process!

Any questions? Feel free to give us a call.

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