Pros and cons of Medicare Supplement plans

Even though private insurance carriers now offer Medicare Supplement plan, they are still a part of Medicare under Part C. Although Supplement plan offers more coverage than Medicare Part A and B, you still need to understand all benefits and downsides of carrying it.

What is a Medicare Supplement plan?

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Very often, it is known as Part C as it sometimes known is a way for recipients to get the medical benefits they need. Supplement plan is also required to offer everything that the Original, Part A, and Part B covers. While it doesn’t cover hospice care, it sometimes includes other benefits like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Supplement Plans 2019

How does it work?

Private insurance companies offer these plans that have been approved by Medicare, the government program. Every month Medicare pays to insurance company a fixed amount, and they, in turn, covers your cost according to rules that Medicare has put down.

What are the pros of it?

  • Apart from standard benefits that come with Original, your Supplement plan may include extra benefits that weren’t covered by Part A and Part B such as dental or vision.
  • Availability of this plan depends on a county and state where you love. Some companies may offer zero ($0) premium for their Supplement

What are cons of Medicare Supplement plan?

Because these plans are ‘distributed’ through private insurance companies, guidelines, and rules can vary which leads to all sorts of restrictions like:

  • Annual Supplement plan contracts that Medicare can choose not to renew the contract for the coming year.
  • Insurance company may demand you adhere to strict rules, for certain coverage such as bringing referrals before seeing a specialist. They may also require you to change doctors or hospitals to one covered in their network. You may even have to pay a higher cost.


There are different types of Supplement plans, although, some may not be available in your area of residence. Here are some of the available plans:

  • Medical Savings Account (MSA)
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS)
  • HMO Point-Of-Service (HMO-POS)
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

Only you can determine the coverage option that bests suits your needs. Make sure you read the details of each plan and compare their costs, benefits, and restrictions on the plans available in your area before making a choice.