A Medigap policy also called Medicare Supplement Plans is a health insurance sold
by private insurance companies to fill gaps in the Original Medicare. It helps pay
some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare does not cover, such as
coinsurance and deductibles. Medicare Supplement Plans policies may also cover certain
things that Medicare doesn't cover. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan,
you do not need Medicare Supplement Plans because your needs should be met by your
Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain
disabilities, and any age with end-stage kidney disease. Medicare covers many health
care services and supplies, but many costs aren't covered. If you're in the OMP and
you buy a Medigap policy, both plans pay their share of the Medicare-approved amount
for covered health care costs.
Insurance companies can sell you only a "standardized" Medicare Supplement Plans
policy. Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans policies are identified by letters
A through N. Each type of Medicare Supplement Plans policy offers the same basic
benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Usually the only difference
between Medicare Supplement Plans policies sold by different insurance companies
is the cost. Medicare Supplement Plans policies must follow federal and state laws.
A Medicare Supplement Plans policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse
both want Medicare Supplement Plans coverage, you each must buy separate Medicare
Supplement Plans policies. Medigap policies don't cover:
• Long-term care (like care in a nursing home)
• Vision or dental care
• Hearing aids
• Private-duty nursing
Most Medicare Supplement Plans require, as does Medicare, that the covered services
be medically necessary, and they pay only up to amounts approved by Medicare.
Any new Medicare Supplement Plans policy is guaranteed renewable. This means the
insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
Although some Medicare Supplement Plans sold in the past covered prescription drugs,
no new Medicare Supplement Plans are allowed to include prescription drug coverage.
If you want prescription drug coverage, you may want to join a Medicare Prescription
Drug Plan (Part D) offered by private companies approved by Medicare.
The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement Plans is during your Medicare Supplement
Plans open enrollment period. This period lasts for 6 months and begins on the first
day of the month in which you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part
B. While the insurance company can't make you wait for your coverage to start, it
may be able to make you wait for coverage of a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing
condition is a health problem you have before the date a new insurance policy starts.