Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a Medicare plan offered by private insurers who contract with the program. Medicare Advantage plans provide hospital, outpatient, and usually prescription drug coverage, supplanting benefits under Medicare parts A, B, and D. Anyone who joins an MA plan still has Medicare and must continue paying Medicare Part B premiums in addition to any charged by the plan. Medicare Advantage plans typically have lower out-of-pocket choice than traditional Medicare and may offer additional benefits, while requiring members to receive care from providers in their network and to obtain referrals to see specialists. Under Part C, Medicare pays a private-sector health insurer a fixed payment, and the insurer then pays for the health care expenses of enrollees.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) is a type of health insurance sold by private companies to help cover the out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover, like deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance. There are up to 10 standardized plans with different letters and benefits available in most states. To qualify for a Medicare Supplement plan, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You pay monthly premiums for your Medigap policy directly to the insurance provider.