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Medicare Supplement

Medicare beneficiaries who have original Medicare may want to buy a Medicare Supplement plan to cover other expenses. Medicare Supplement is also known as Medigap because it covers the “gaps” in Medicare. Medicare Supplement policies cover what Medicare doesn’t, such as:

  • Out-of-pocket deductibles
  • Coinsurance
  • Co-payments
  • Hospitalization
  • Medical expenses
  • Hospice
  • Blood work

Medicare Supplement plans are private health insurance plans specifically designed to supplement and work only with original Medicare.  Private insurance companies sell Medicare Supplement plans.

What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Medicare Supplement plans help pay all or some of the coinsurance, copayments and deductibles (“gaps”) in original Medicare and may also cover some medical services Medicare doesn’t cover.  Medicare Supplement plans are identified by letters (such as Plan F, G, or N) except in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  • Each Medicare Supplement plan must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it.  Medicare supplement plans are sometimes referred to as “standardized plans”
  • The only differences between Medicare Supplement policies sold by different insurance companies are the cost, underwriting guidelines, extra services, and customer service.
  • A Medicare Supplement policy only covers one person.  If a married couple wants Medicare Supplement coverage, they must buy separate Medicare Supplement policies.  Some companies offer discounts if both members of a household are insured.
  • Medicare Supplement plans offer the freedom to choose any doctor that accepts Medicare (although Medicare “Select” Supplement plans require hospital networks)
  • There are typically no claims forms to file; claims are submitted electronically by providers  to Medicare and private insurance companies.
  • Coverage is available anywhere in the United States. If beneficiaries move, their coverage moves with them.  They do not need to reapply in their new state.
  • The plan automatically renews from year to year as long as beneficiaries pay their premiums.
  • A 30-day “free look” evaluation period.

For more information on Medicare Supplement insurance, please review “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare.”