Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage: A Quick Recap
Before we answer the question, let’s quickly recap what Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage are:
Medigap Plan C:
- A supplemental insurance plan that covers costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
- No network restrictions as long as the provider accepts Medicare.
- Generally higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Advantage (Part C):
An all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare.
Combines Part A, Part B, and usually prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Often includes additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing.
Usually has network restrictions.
The Verdict: Can You Have Both?
The short answer is no. You cannot have both Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage. They are mutually exclusive options. You must choose either Medigap Plan C to supplement Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage as an all-in-one alternative.
Medigap Plan C vs. Medicare Advantage
Medigap Plan C: The Supplemental Guardian
Medicare Part C: The All-in-One Powerhouse
Shields you from out-of-pocket costs like copayments and deductibles of Original Medicare
Replaces Original Medicare with a feature-packed combo of Part A, Part B, and usually Part D
Roam free! No network restrictions as long as the provider accepts Medicare
Stay within bounds! Usually has network restrictions
Comes with perks! Often includes dental, vision, and hearing
Enrollment Periods: Timing is Key
Understanding when you can enroll in these plans is crucial. Here’s a comparison of the enrollment periods:
Medigap Plan C
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)
Initial Enrollment Period
6 months starting the month you’re 65
7 months (3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after turning 65)
Open Enrollment Period
October 15 to December 7 annually
Special Enrollment Periods
In certain situations
In certain situations
Expert Consultation: Why It Matters
Navigating Medicare alone can be overwhelming. Independent brokers are available and free to work with. They can provide unbiased advice and help you compare options.
While Medigap Plan C and Medicare Advantage both offer valuable benefits, you cannot enroll in both. Understanding the differences and consulting an expert can help you make the best choice for your healthcare needs.