Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare Advantage

Here's a quick overview about these two types of plans and how they compare. We can help you decide which type of plan best suits your specific needs.







  • Must have Medicare A & B.
  • Applicants may have guaranteed issue rights during certain enrollment periods, otherwise may have to pass a health questionnaire.
  • Must have Medicare A & B.
  • Plans are guaranteed issue as long as you do not have ESRD.
  • Must live in service area 6 months of the year.


  • Premiums for the same plan differs from company to company.
  • Typically more expensive than Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Premiums differ based on unique plan designs from private insurers.
  • Typically less expensive than most Medicare Supplement plans.


  • Plans are standardized and generally don't change.
  • Most popular "Plan F" has no deductible, no copays, and no out-of-pocket limit.
  • Plan F is 100% coverage for Medicare-covered services.
  • Plans can change on an annual basis and members may change plans during Annual Enrollment Period.
  • Plans may have a deductible, copays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits.


  • Most plans cover any provider in the USA who accepts Original Medicare.
  • Referrals to access specialists are typically not required.
  • Foreign travel ER coverage limited to $50,000 per lifetime.
  • Plans use defined network of providers: HMOs, PPOs, POS, etc.
  • Will cover ER visits anywhere in the US and usually worldwide.
  • Foreign travel ER coverage not limited to $50,000 per lifetime.


  • Does not include Part D Rx coverage.
  • You will need to purchase a separate Medicare Part D Rx plan.
  • Most plans include Part D Rx coverage as part of the plan's standard monthly premium.


  • These standardized plans do not offer the extras that Medicare Advantage plans often deliver.
  • Most plans do not offer SilverSneakers although some do.
  • Some plans offer benefits that Original Medicare does not cover, such as vision, dental, and hearing coverage.
  • Many plans offer health and wellness benefits such as SilverSneakers gym memberships.

Got Questions? Contact us or call 425-353-9763 (TTY: 711).