Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medigap
Some authorized private health insurance providers sell Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans. These plans provide additional coverage for covered Medicare services. The aim of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is to reduce some out-of-pocket costs for services that are partially covered by traditional Medicare plans.
Medigap policies work exclusively with traditional Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage. Therefore, only participants who have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage are eligible to purchase Medigap insurance plans. Medicare Part C participants do not purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance insurance.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans offer twelve standardized service plans so consumers can easily compare policies and costs. Medigap plans are labeled A through L and offer an increasingly comprehensive set of covered services. For example, a Medigap A policy is the most basic Medigap policy. A Medigap B policy will cover everything the Medigap A policy does and will offer some extended benefits, but it will not offer as many benefits as a Medigap C plan does.
Medicare Supplement Insurance providers are not required to offer a complete line of Medigap A through L policies, or limit the cost of supplemental insurance premiums. Therefore, prospective participants should conduct a careful comparison of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to ensure that s/he receives the desired level of coverage.
A Medigap policy covers only one individual, regardless of whether a participant is eligible for coverage through his or her spouse. Each participant must have his or her own Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. As Medigap is an optional insurance plan, participants pay Medigap premiums in addition to Medicare Part B and optional Part D premiums.