What is Medicare Supplement?

A Medicare Supplement plan is also called Medigap. It helps pay for medical expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), such as co-payments, deductibles, and coinsurance. It is an optional coverage that can be purchased to supplement (fill-in-the-gaps) of Original Medicare.

Here are some important things to know about Medigap policies:

  • These plans are only sold by private insurance companies.
  • A person must have Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible to purchase a Medigap
  • Individuals pay the Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) premium to the federal government, plus they pay a monthly premium to the private insurance company offering the Medigap
  • When medical services are received, Original Medicare pays their portion first, and then the Medigap coverage pays for anything else that is included in the Medigap
  • If an individual has a Medicare Advantage plan and wants to purchase a Medigap plan, he or she must leave the Medicare Advantage plan before their Medigap insurance coverage begins.
  • Medigap policies generally do not provide vision, dental, long-term (custodial) care, or prescription drug coverage.
  • A Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if the insured has health problems. This means the insurance company can’t cancel a Medigap policy as long as the premiums are paid.