Medicare Supplement is a health insurance plan that comes from a private company instead of the federal government. Also referred to as Medicare Part C, the plan provides a great value in that it gives all of the coverage that Original Medicare Parts A and B offer, plus additional benefits. It works a lot like any employer insurance coverage you may have had throughout your career with HMO and PPO-type options to choose from. There are also specific time periods during the year when you can enroll in the plan or switch.
As you may know, Medicare Part A covers a portion of hospitalization expenses. Medicare Part B covers doctor and outpatient visits. Medicare Advantage covers both and it also includes prescription drug coverage. If you opted for Original Medicare instead, you would need to buy an extra supplement called Part D in order to get prescription drug coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans provide vision, hearing and dental care, wellness programs and a nurse help hotline. It’s all part of a network and may be required to use the doctors, specialists and hospitals that participate in the plan. Emergency care is generally covered for travel in the U.S. and sometimes abroad.