In our most recent survey, we asked our readers how their healthcare costs under Medicare matched up to their expectations. Although a small minority of respondents indicated that their expenses were about what they had expected or even lower, the vast majority noted that they’re spending more than they had anticipated.
We explained the most common reasons for this, but a big one is the fact that Medicare beneficiaries don’t always have accurate expectations in terms of what Medicare coverage they’ll need, how much it’s going to cost, and what portion of their medical expenses it will cover.
Your costs – including monthly premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses – will depend a great deal on the coverage you select during your initial enrollment period, and plan changes you make during future open enrollment periods. In almost all areas of the country, Medicare beneficiaries can choose between Medigap (Medicare Supplement) and Medicare Advantage, and there are pros and cons either way.
If you’ll soon be enrolled in Medicare or are already a beneficiary, you’ve probably been bombarded with Medicare Advantage advertising. And if you’ve been working with a good broker, they’ve likely also explained Medigap to you. But if you’re trying to sort through it on your own, you may feel unsure about how the options differ and how you can determine what coverage will best meet your needs.
In our new survey we’re hoping to see how confident our readers feel in their understanding of the differences between Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Tell us:
How well do you understand the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medigap (Medicare supplement plans)?
- Very well. I’ve thoroughly researched both options and have made (or will soon make) an informed decision.
- Somewhat well. I know the basics, and have tried to figure out what makes the most sense for my situation.
- Not at all. I’m overwhelmed by the choices, and can’t tell if I’m paying too much or not getting the coverage I need.
Please take a moment to let us know whether this is something you understand well, sort of – or not at all. And if you have specific questions, please feel free to leave a comment below so that we can address it for you.