A basic guide to Medicare supplemental insurance
Medicare, on average, covered a little less than half of its enrollees’ health care costs, according to the most recent figures available. Thus, the need for a supplemental insurance policy, or Medigap coverage, as its known.
Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies such as ours. They can help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Some policies will also cover select services that Medicare won’t, including health care when you travel abroad. But Medigap does not cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses or private nurses.
There are 10 standard Medigap policies, each of them named after a letter from the alphabet. Medigap A is considered the most basic policy. It extends complete coverage for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments and Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
There is no difference between Medigap policies among insurers. The plans’ details are dictated by the federal and state governments. The only difference is in the providers, which vary from insurer to insurer. To quickly and easily reference provider directories for each of the Medigap insurers that we offer, visit our Doctor and Hospital Finder.
Once you’re enrolled, you pay us a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare. (You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to register for Medigap coverage. If you receive benefits under the Medicare Advantage Plan, you need to end your coverage before your Medigap policy takes effect.) And any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewed, regardless of any health issues, as long as the premium is paid according to schedule.
Medigap policies are only available to individuals, so you and your spouse will need to enroll separately.