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Why UniCare’s Medicare Extension plan is the best choice

November 21, 2022
As a GIC Medicare member, you’ll choose your plan during the GIC’s annual enrollment period in April. Even though it’s currently Medicare’s open enrollment season – and you’ve probably been bombarded with insurance advertising – there’s no action you need to take.
Here’s a quick comparison of two types of Medicare plans: 
  • Supplemental plans, like UniCare’s Medicare Extension (sometimes called “Medigap” plans)
  • Medicare Advantage plans 
UniCare’s Medicare Extension
(a Medicare supplemental plan)
Common features of Medicare Advantage plans
Freedom to see the doctor you choose – There’s no network. You can use any provider that accepts Medicare. Use network providers – You get full coverage as long as you use network providers. But there’s little or no coverage for out-of-network providers. And the list of network providers can change without warning.
Coverage across the U.S. – Medicare Extension is accepted anywhere Medicare is accepted. Limited coverage areas – Outside of the network coverage area, only emergency and urgent services are covered.
No PCP or referral requirements – You don’t have to select a primary care provider, and you don’t need a referral to see the specialist you choose. PCPs and referrals are required – You must select a primary care provider (PCP), and you’ll need a referral to see a specialist. You’ll probably need preapproval for services like lab tests, imaging, and physical therapy.
Lower out-of-pocket costs – UniCare’s Medicare Extension plan covers most or all of the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Copays, where they apply, are usually lower than in Advantage plans. Higher out-of-pocket costs – Although federal law requires that Advantage out-of-pocket costs be capped, the cap can be as high as $10,000 a year.
Choose Medicare Extension if you want to:
  • Have the freedom to choose your doctors
  • Keep your out-of-pocket costs low
  • Have full coverage when you travel
  • Minimize the risk of owing significant costs if unexpected health issues arise
Consider an Advantage plan if you:
  • Prefer lower premiums with higher out-of-pocket costs
  • Are comfortable getting care within the service area and from in-network providers
  • Are less concerned about the cost risk if unexpected issues arise
To learn more about specific Medicare plans offered by the GIC, go to To learn more about Medicare Extension benefits, see