Medicare Advantage Vs. Medicare Supplement: What You Need To Know

For Medicare beneficiaries who want to join an Advantage Plan, now is the time to do it.

Just be sure you know what the plan covers and what your potential costs will be — and how long you have to change your mind.

During the annual fall open enrollment period, which is now underway and runs through Dec. 7, one of the things you can do is sign up for an Advantage Plan, as long as you have original Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient care).

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While these plans continue growing in popularity and availability, there are some things to know.

"Not all will have the same benefits," said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. "You have to see what's important to you."

Roughly 63.3 million individuals get their health coverage through Medicare. The majority of them — 55.1 million — are age 65 or older, while the remainder are younger with permanent disabilities or individuals with end-stage renal disease.

Nearly 27 million beneficiaries get their Parts A and B benefits delivered through Advantage Plans, which are offered by private insurers and typically include Part D prescription drug coverage.

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