Comparing Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplement Insurance

How do you decide which type of Medicare coverage is best for you? Start by comparing your options to find a plan that’s right for your health needs and budget.

The basics of Original Medicare

Original Medicare provides coverage for Medicare Part A, known as hospital insurance, and Medicare Part B, known as medical insurance. You can also separately join Medicare Part D for prescription coverage.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)

Medigap plans provide additional coverage for those already enrolled in Original Medicare. These plans help you fill the “gaps” or out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.

The Medigap premium you pay can vary based on your age, gender or tobacco use. These plans are generally more expensive than Medicare Advantage plans, and your premium increases as you get older.

The benefits of Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare that provide coverage for Part A and Part B, along with extra benefits such as prescription, dental, hearing and vision coverage. MA plans are offered by Medicare-approved private health insurance companies like Sanford Health Plan, and you’re still in the Medicare program with Medicare rights and protections.

Medicare Advantage plans generally have low or $0 premiums, and premiums are the same for everyone no matter your age, gender or tobacco use.

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you may need to receive care from in-network health care providers. There are some MA plans with out-of-network coverage but with a higher out-of-pocket cost.

How to choose between Medigap and Medicare Advantage

Choosing between Medigap and Medicare Advantage depends on your health needs and the type of coverage you’re looking for. Medigap provides extra coverage for Original Medicare but doesn’t offer prescription coverage. If you prefer to have one plan for all your coverage, see if there are Medicare Advantage plans available in your area. Before choosing a plan, review all plan details so you can make the best coverage decision.

To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans from Sanford Health Plan, see if you live within our coverage area. We offer comprehensive, integrated Medicare Advantage plans in select counties across South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

When choosing a Medicare plan, an agent can help you every step of the way. Call (888) 535-4831 to speak with a licensed agent from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.

Align powered by Sanford Health Plan is a PPO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Align powered by Sanford Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Sanford Health Plan complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.


CMS ID Number: H8385_615-254-468-PY2024-ND-SD-IA_M, H3186_615-254-468-PY2024-MN_M

Last Updated On: 11/7/23 at 10:30 AM

Your guide to Medicare Advantage

Learn how you can get all the benefits of Original Medicare and more with a Medicare Advantage plan through Align powered by Sanford Health Plan.