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Medicare Basics

If you are turning 65, recently moved or retired, call us.


We can help you understand your Medicare options and help you find the best plan for you specific situation!


Is it time for Medicare?

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What is the difference between a Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plan?

  • Advantage plans often have $0 additonal premium. Supplements can have a large additional premium. (In addition to Medicare Part B premium.)
  • Advantage plans (both HMO and PPO) have a preferred network of doctors/hospitals.   Supplements allow you to go anywhere that accepts Medicare.
  • Advantage plans have certain enrollment periods. Supplements can be enrolled in at any time.
  • Advantage plans have NO health questions. Supplements require qualifying based on current health.
  • Advantage plans include Part D drug plans. (Many also offer additional benefits, such as dental.) Supplements may require purchase of a separate drug plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans

When can you enroll?

  • 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.
  • During the Annual Enrollment (October 15-December 7)

  • During Open Enrollment (January 1- March 31st) you can switch plans if you are currently on an Advantage plan.

  • If you move outside your plan area
  • When you lose group insurance, such as when you retire.
  • If you have a change in health or income, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period.

What is a SNP ("snip")?

SNP stands for special needs plan, and is a type of Medicare Advantage plan for a certain group of individuals.

D-SNP, or Dual Enrolled is for people who are on Medicare and also have Medicaid, LIS, Extra Help, or a Medicare Savings Plan. 

C-SNP is for Chronic health issues. There are C-SNP's for diabetes, COPD, and cardiac disease. 

I-SNP is for Institutional residents, such as those in nursing homes, or long term care facilities.

SNP's offer special enrollment periods, and specially tailored extra benefits over other Advantage plans.

Medicare Supplement Plans (aka Medigap)

A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N

No wonder they refer to supplements as "alphabet soup!"


Medicare regulates what each plan covers, so there is never any difference in benefits, no matter which company your plan is with. The only difference will be in the premium you pay, and perhaps in the customer service of the company you choose. 

If you move from a higher letter to a lower (such as from M to A) there are no questions. But if you move from a lower to higher (A to M) you will have to qualify. 

A supplement does not include prescription drug plan (PDP) which is required. If you do not currently have coverage, you will need to purchase a separate plan to avoid a penalty.

So what is the best choice 

for You?

The best choice is to meet with one of our licensed agents! Together, you can discuss your unique situation, compare all the plans, and make an informed decision.

Remember: We work for you- NOT the insurance companies!

For a no-obligation review of your current plan, or to get started with an Advantage or Supplement plan, call our office today for an appointment. 

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