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October 06, 2021 | Tags: Medicare

In recent posts, we’ve talked about Medicare Advantage plans, as well as Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. You may be asking yourself at this point, “What are the differences between the two?” Both plan types are designed to offer beneficial services to Medicare-eligible people, but the best plan choice for one person may not be right for another.

If you find yourself choosing between a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan then this post might help make that choice a little easier. To recap:

Medicare Advantage plans

  • Combine Medicare Parts A and B benefits and are sold by private insurers
  • Sometimes include Part D prescription drug coverage
  • Usually include additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare such as hearing, dental, vision and more
  • Typically have lower deductibles, copays and/or coinsurance than Original Medicare
  • Have a network of doctors and hospitals who are contracted to provide you with care
  • Provide coverage for emergency or urgent care services while traveling outside of the U.S.

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans

  • Are sold by private insurers to “supplement” your Original Medicare coverage
  • Help to pay some of the deductibles, copays and/or coinsurance Original Medicare does not cover
  • Sometimes offer emergency medical care while traveling outside of the U.S.
  • Do not have a set network of doctors and hospitals; you can see any doctor that accepts Medicare
  • Do not cover prescription drugs and typically do not cover hearing aids, eyewear, dental or long-term care
  • Have a six-month enrollment window, which starts on the first day of the month after your 65th birthday, when you can enroll without being subject to medical underwriting; if you enroll later, you may be subject to a higher premium (we’ll cover this in more detail in our next post which will be all about enrollment periods


Here are a few things to keep in mind about both Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.

  • You must be eligible for both Medicare Parts A and B to enroll in either plan type.
  • You cannot be enrolled in both a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
  • You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium to the federal government, as well as the premium your insurer will charge for the Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.

Now that you have some basic knowledge of both plan offerings, we will go over when you can expect to enroll in these Medicare plans in our next post.

To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, visit, check the Medical Mutual website, or like our Facebook page to see the latest updates in this series.

You can talk to a Medical Mutual licensed insurance agent who can answer your questions by calling (866) 406-8777 (hearing impaired TTY/TDD: 711) or call your insurance agent. You can also visit for more information.

This site contains a summary of benefits only describing our policies’ most important features. It is not an insurance policy or contract.  The Medical Mutual Medicare Supplement Insurance policy is the insurance contract. If there is any different between this site and the policy, the provisions of the policy will control.

Neither Medical Mutual nor any of its agents or Medicare Supplement insurance plans are connected with or endorsed by the U.S. or state government, Social Security or federal Medicare program. Individuals who call the phone number listed will speak with a licensed insurance agent.

This policy has exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your insurance agent or Medical Mutual.

Medicare Supplement products marketed by Medical Mutual will be underwritten by Medical Health Insuring Corporation of Ohio. Contact will be made by a licensed insurance agent or insurer. The amount of benefits provided depends upon the plan selected and the premium will vary with the amount of the benefits selected. Medical Mutual is a registered trademark of Medical Mutual of Ohio.