Medicare supplement plans (also called Medigap) are private health insurance specifically designed to supplement and work only with Original Medicare.  Private insurance companies sell Medicare supplement plans.

Medicare supplement plans help pay some of the coinsurance, copayments and deductibles (“gaps”) in Original Medicare.  They may also cover certain medical services Medicare doesn’t cover.  People who are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A & B) and buy a Medicare supplemental plan will generally have 100 percent of their Medicare-approved health care costs covered (depending on the plan chosen).

Medicare supplemental plans are identified by letters (such as Plan C).  There are 10 plans available.

  • Each Medicare supplement plan must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it.
  • Usually the difference between Medicare supplement policies sold by different insurance companies are the cost, underwriting criteria, extra services (value-added) and customer service.
  • Medicare supplement insurance companies must follow federal and state laws.
  • A Medicare supplement plan only covers one person.  If a married couple wants Medicare supplement coverage, they must buy separate Medicare supplement plans.

Medicare Supplement plans offer beneficiaries:

  • Help with managing out-of-pocket costs.
  • The freedom to choose any doctor who accepts Medicare patients.
  • No claim forms to file.
  • National coverage so beneficiaries can use benefits anywhere in the United States.  If beneficiaries move, their coverage moves with them, except Select Plans which may not be available everywhere.
  • Foreign travel coverage for emergency services (for most plans).
  • Guaranteed renewability, meaning the plan automatically renews from year to year as long as beneficiaries pay their premiums when due.
  • A 30-day “free look” evaluation period.  Full refund of premiums (minus claims paid, if any) if policies are returned within 30 days of plan insurance.

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