When it comes to supplementing your Medicare coverage, you have two primary options: Medigap (also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance) and Medicare Advantage (Part C). Each offers distinct benefits and drawbacks, so understanding their differences can help you decide which plan best meets your healthcare needs.

Skyline Benefit is an independent Medicare insurance agency with extensive experience in helping individuals navigate Medicare options. Our AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) certified and licensed team can help you understand Medicare and explore your Medicare options.

What is Medigap?

Medigap plans are standardized insurance policies sold by private companies that help cover some out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. These plans offer a variety of coverage levels, labeled Plan A through Plan N, with each plan providing a different combination of benefits. Medigap policies are designed to work alongside Original Medicare. Medigap plans are only for original Medicare enrollees.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, is an alternative to Original Medicare. Offered by private insurance companies, these plans combine Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) into one plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage (Part D) and dental, vision, and hearing care. Unlike Medigap, Medicare Advantage plans operate as a standalone option, providing all-in-one coverage.

How Do Costs Compare?


  • Premiums: Medigap plans typically have higher monthly premiums than Medicare Advantage plans, but they cover many out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not.
  • Out-of-pocket costs: With Medigap, out-of-pocket costs are generally lower and more predictable. Medigap covers most, if not all, of the costs that Original Medicare does not, depending on your chosen plan.

Medicare Advantage:

The cost of Medicare Advantage plans depends on several factors:

  • Part B Premiums: To enroll in Medicare Advantage, you must have Medicare Parts A and B and pay the Part B premium.
  • Monthly Premiums: Some Medicare Advantage plans have additional monthly premiums, but many have no premium. The average monthly premium is $18.50.
  • Out-of-pocket costs: While Medicare Advantage plans may have lower premiums, they typically come with higher out-of-pocket costs like copayments and coinsurance. These costs can vary depending on the specific plan and your services.

Coverage and Flexibility


  • Flexibility: Medigap policies offer greater flexibility because you can see any doctor or specialist who accepts Medicare without needing a referral.
  • Nationwide coverage: Medigap plans cover the entire United States, making them a good option for frequent travelers.

Medicare Advantage:

Medicare Advantage plans come in various forms, each with unique features. The two most common types are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs):

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): HMOs require you to choose a primary care physician who oversees your healthcare. Referrals are typically needed to see specialists, and coverage is generally limited to in-network providers, except in emergencies.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): PPOs allow you to see any doctor or specialist without a referral. While you can choose out-of-network providers, there may be additional costs.
  • Additional benefits: Medicare Advantage plans often include additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage and dental, vision, and hearing care, which are not typically covered by Medigap plans.

Enrollment Periods


You can purchase a policy anytime after enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B. However, it’s advisable to enroll during the six-month period starting from the first day of the month you sign up for Medicare Part B, as insurers must offer you all available Medigap policies at the best rates for your age without considering preexisting conditions.

Medicare Advantage:

  • Initial enrollment: You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
  • Annual Enrollment Period: You can also join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 to December 7 each year).

Which One is Right for You?

Choosing between Medigap and Medicare Advantage depends on your healthcare needs, preferences, and financial situation. Our AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) certified and licensed team at Skyline Benefit can guide you in selecting the best plan for your healthcare needs.

Need help in choosing between Medigap or Medicare Advantage Plans?

Skyline Benefit is an independent Medicare insurance broker that offers affordable and flexible Medicare options. Selecting the best Medicare insurance plans can be overwhelming; our mission is to simplify the process and help our clients every step of the way.

Schedule a consultation today. Call us now at (714) 888-5112

Medicare Online Quote