Medicare Health Plan Options

How To Choose The Medicare Plan That Is Best For You

When choosing how to get your Medicare Health plan coverage, it really comes down to two options. Both options are popular for different reasons and it's important to understand what they offer and how they differ before making the choice that best meets your needs. You can choose either a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan, but you cannot take both.

If you choose a Medicare Supplement plan, you may also choose to take a Part D plan to cover your prescription drugs.

In most cases, you cannot take a separate Part D plan if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan. If you need prescription drug coverage and wish to take a Medicare Advantage plan, be sure to choose one that includes the Part D benefit or a Private Fee-For Service (PFFS) plan without drug coverage that allows you to take a separate Part D.

<strong>Option 1:</strong><br/><strong>Medicare Supplement and Part D</strong>

Option 1:
Medicare Supplement and Part D

Add a Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) policy and a Part D prescription drug plan to Original Medicare.


  • Designed to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare such has deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance
  • Works with any provider that accepts Medicare throughout the United States
  • No referrals required for specialists
  • Standardized plans of the same letter (F, G, N, etc.) have the same benefits regardless of the insurance company*
  • Guaranteed renewable for life
  • Plan benefits remain the same year after year
  • Some plans offer emergency foreign travel coverage
  • Can change your Part D plan (during the Annual Enrollment Period) without affecting your medical benefits
  • Some plans types offer a high deductible option

Things to Consider

  • Most plans do not provide benefits beyond those offered by original Medicare for things like vision, hearing and dental coverage
  • Premiums tend to cost more than Medicare Advantage plans
  • Most plan premiums increase as you get older
  • Most insurance carriers ask health questions to determine eligibility so acceptance is not guaranteed  (unless you are new to Medicare or have a Guaranteed Issue right)
  • Your plan selection may be limited based on Medicare enrollment date

* Plans in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts differ from the standardized plans

<strong>Option 2:</strong><br/><strong>Medicare Advantage Plans</strong>

Option 2:
Medicare Advantage Plans

Take a Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) plan that combines the Part A and Part B benefits offered by Original Medicare.


  • Lower monthly premium options often available compared to Medicare Supplement.
  • Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage
  • Utilizes a network of providers and hospitals to obtain coverage for medical services 
  • Many plans offer extra benefits that go beyond original Medicare
  • No medical underwriting questions so you can't be denied for your health history
  • Most offer low or no co-payments to see your Primary Care Physician
  • All plans have an out-of-pocket maximum that limits your potential medical expenses each year

Things to Consider

  • You must verify that your providers are in-network and that your prescriptions are covered before enrolling
  • Some plans require you use in-network providers to obtain coverage (except in an emergency)
  • Must live within the plan's service area to enroll
  • Some plans require referrals to see a specialist
  • You may have co-payments or co-insurance for medical services

* Not all plans offer extra benefits and not all plans offer the same extra benefits. Be sure to review your plan benefits carefully and select the one that best meets your needs.

Ready to Learn More?

Medicare Supplement Plans

<strong>Medicare Supplement Plans</strong>

These plans are designed to fill in the gaps left by Medicare. Click below to learn more.

Learn more

Part D Prescription Plans

<strong>Part D Prescription Plans</strong>

These plans are designed to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Click below to learn more.

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Medicare Advantage Plans

<strong>Medicare Advantage Plans</strong>

These plans combine your Medicare benefits with additional benefits at an affordable price. Click below to learn more.

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<strong>Which One Is Right For You?</strong>

Which One Is Right For You?

That is the question I get asked most often, and it really comes down to your specific needs. When you meet with me, we'll discuss what is most important to you about your coverage to help determine which type of plan will be the best fit for you.

Once we've figured that out, I can help you compare different policy options from a variety of insurance companies and assist you with getting enrolled in the plan that will best meet your needs. When you're ready to take that step, simply call me at 309-696-7933 to set up an appointment or fill out the form below and I'll reach out to you.

Have a question or ready for a quote?

Thank you!