From, my experience. At some point you will need expensive health care, umlike auto insurance health ins will be used.
Advantage plans, pros cheap may include some dental, hearing, etc.
Cons, travel, all out of network, must see doc in network, in you go into hospital it is more expensive than an advantage plan. Also, years down the road if you want to switch to supplement you will go through underwriting and probably not be accepted, yes, they can refuse your entrance into a supplement down the road for existing conditions. Locked into their pharmacy, thus no choice if your drug is not covered. More difficult to change advantage plans, Part D plans are very easy.
Supplements, pros, travel anywhere, see any doc that accepts medicare, don't worry about limits or co pays. Plan G, ded only.
Cons, will get expensive as you age. Also, if serious health issues you will be locked into the plan you select, underwriting will deny you a transfer.
No dental or hearing but IMO, these benefits have limits and are not worth the paper they are printed on.
My experience, went with supplement at 65 plan F (no longer offered) never see a co pay or deductible. Mine is with Anthem of VA, now live in TN, kept the plan and now, due to underwriting, cannot switch. BC of TN says no way. However, no complaints. Switched Part D plans at least 6 times over the years. my supplement started out reasonable, low $100/month now at 266/month. However, I have been in hospital twice, aortic valve replacement, no cost to me, last year in for 17 days, 2 valve replacements (well first one did not work so back in on day 2) , gross charge $506,000 (yes five hundred and six thousand) medicare paid $80,000 no out of pocket for me. No questions that as you age you will spend more in an Advantage Plan unless you die quickly. My opinion. There must be money in the Advantage plans because they are pushed by everyone, no ins company really pushes the supplements.
IMO, a supplement with Part D is the way to go and choose carefully, you may not be able to swithc in the future. They never inform you about underwriting until you cannot pass it. Part D is really really easy to change every year
Also, if you are a diabetic a supplement is the way to go, insulin pumps fully covered by A B and supplement, insulin and supplies with an Advantage plan have co-pays. Can be very expensive.
You know, I started reading your post and was impressed with what started out as unbiased post. But then it went downhill and you started commenting on Advantage C plans in a negative way of which you dont have and therefore I dont think helps the OP and why I tell people to do research and I posted actual Advantage C plan I was referring too.
You are wrong about your assumption on dental, hearing and vision, you state "these benefits have limits and are not worth the paper they are printed on." That is not at all true, its the same good to great coverage I had with one of the largest banks in the country when I was working.
Your plan is costing you $436 a month ($170 + $266 = $436 is what I THINK you are referring too and not $436 + $170 = $606 and is for Hospitals, Doctors and Pharmacy.
The Advantage C plan I have with United Health Care (AARP) includes pharmacy, vision, hearing, dental, doctors and hospitals. No primary co-pay and $30 co-pay for a specialist. Total cost per month is $170 medicare + $25 UHC = $195 total cost per month and I am getting all those extras plus $400 a year in over the counter drug items and a $100+ a month premium gym membership at no cost for both. My total cost for health care is almost zero.
Now if I get sick like you have, then you WILL have to pay more then an Plan N or G but that cost is limited to a total of $4,500 out of pocket limit per year, so your half million dollar medical bill would have cost you at the most and VERY possibly not the full $4,500 and you didnt have the other perks of Advantage C. and with an Advantage C plan you are only paying $170 medicare and $25 UHC = $195 a month not $170 medicare + $266 BCBS = $436 a month that you are paying, one heck of a huge difference per month and the rate doesnt go up with the Advantage C plan I posted with age like many (or all )Plan \G or Plan N.
Yes, if you need drugs you cant switch drug plans like you can with Plan N or G unless you opt to switch the whole plan at the start of the year, or possibly go with a non drug C and elect a drug plan, one would have to look into if that can be done, I think so...so like I said, using the links its best to look up everything.
You also said incorrectly switching Advantage C plans is difficult, you can switch Advantage C plans any time at the start of the year with no underwriting. You also have the option to go to a medigap plan without under writing in the first year only, this is where one needs to be careful after that first year it would be hard to switch..
Choices are good, I LOVE this stuff! Options are great, you can pick and choose as you like, not everything is perfect for everyone. Family members of mine are in Medigap N, another in Medigap G. The one in Medigap G has heart issues and bypasses and all the related problems just moved into a Advantage C plan with a good drug plan to cover all his drugs, limited dental, vision, hearing services and $750 deductible, low out of pocket ($2500 if I remember correctly) Humana though, yet the plan and drug coverage cost him nothing. $170 = 0$ = $170 a month, he got tired of his Medigap G plan (which he loved) rate increases which were getting close to $170 + $190 = $360 a month.
Not every plan is for everyone, there are some VERY good things about Medigap plans G and N if you dont care about paying double the amount of money per month up front whether you need the services or not. I feel this is what is no said upfront all the time, Medigap N and G plus D is double the cost and depending how you use it can be way more than double the cost of an Advantage C plan so it really comes down to how much insurance does one want and what are they willing to pay for. One must, must keep in mind, ALL these plans are regulated by the government, Advantage C are one year contracts and can change year to year, I stress the word CAN, this is why you ALWAYS have the option every year to change Advantage C plans if you wish. All plans have to be approved by Medicare all Advantage C plans have to cover the same services as Medicare just like Medigap plans.
On last time dont choose a plan based on posts in a forum, including my posts, all these plans are good, you choose what you want to pay. I just provided in another post above this one what I use and why and Spector posted what he uses and why, both valid reasons, both are government approved Medicare health care plans.
I myself was torn, its attractive thought never having to pay a medical bill but it comes at a high cost to me. Im still in my first year window where I could switch into a medigap plan without underwriting but I know I am not going too.
So I went with what I think is an attractive plan, a AARP UHC Advantage C plan which is just like the plans I have had all my life and also from corporations I worked for, except the Advantage C is even better because there is no deductible...
SO whether a Medigap G or N plus D
Or all in one Advantage C
Its all an individual choice, I dont think there is any right or wrong. In my case I could get stuck with a $4,500 out of pocket limit each year for some over the top.