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Pros and Cons: Medicare Supplemental Plans vs. Medicare Advantage Plans

Finding the proper medical coverage is one of the most frustrating things about being an adult. There are seemingly too many choices, too many costs, and not enough information. Every plan has a catch or something that was unexpected. Insurance companies are big business, and sometimes that hurts the little guy.

For older adults with medicare, some of the pains and difficulties are removed, but issues can still arise. One major problem that people with medicare encounter is if their current coverage is lacking and fees overtake the insurance. Medical bills add up quickly, and you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of that.

According to Mark Prip from, medicare users should resort to one of two options: a supplemental plan or an advantage plan. These are two ways to be fully covered for when medicare doesn’t quite do the full job.

Though these options are similar on the surface, there are some major technical differences that senior citizens and older adults need to be aware of. Let’s go through the pros and cons of each plan. That is the easiest way to find out which one is best for each person’s situation.

Medicare Supplemental Plan

This is the more straightforward option. Medicare supplemental plans do just that: supplement the existing medicare coverage. Medicare would hypothetically cover a portion of a pending bill. The supplemental coverage would then move in to pick up the remainder. The pairing doesn’t always cover a full 100 percent of each need, but it would do a better job than medicare by itself.


Keep same medicare insurance

More options for doctors and medical professionals

Option to continually add additional supplemental coverage for different fee structures


Balancing multiple plans

Keeping details straight between what coverages you have

Medicare Advantage Plan

The other option for buoying medicare is one that essentially takes over for medicare. The advantage plan removes existing medicare coverage and replaces it with fuller protection. This moves a user out of the government umbrella and under completely private insurance. With supplemental coverage, just the added plan is under private insurance. The advantage plan goes all-in.


One plan for all medical cost coverage

No balancing act between different portions of your medicare

Everything under one roof


Restricted to a network for doctor visits

More changes and alterations to fee structure expected

Neither plan is right or wrong. The pros and cons will balance differently for different people. It is important for each individual to study which one will benefit them most. These are the pains of insurance coverage, but it ends up being worth it in the end if you find coverage best suited to your needs.

Of course, these types of decisions are hardly one-sided. An insurance agent also plays a vital role in helping to determine where a person fits best. Insurance agents know their local areas well, including what coverage people will need and what options are available. Agents and companies offer many plans beyond even simply medical coverage. From auto to home to renters to life insurance, finding an agent with know-how can ease the burden of picking the insurances in your life.

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