What is Medicare Supplement?
Although private-sector insurance companies underwrite, price and administer Medicare Supplement—or “Medigap”—policies, they must follow strict guidelines set by the federal government.
In fact, the Feds dictate precisely what forms private companies can offer. Working from these templates, each state then approves the Supplement plans for sale within its borders.
There are many types of Medicare Supplement coverage available; these are called Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. (These letter denominations are completely separate of and unrelated to Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. But people often confuse the two sets—and this confusion is understandable.
Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans fill in some of the gaps in coverage in Original Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and overseas emergency health coverage. These are costs you’d normally be responsible paying out of pocket for under Original Medicare. It’s important to note that prescription coverage is not included with current Medigap plans. You can get coverage through a Medicare Part D plan.
What are the beneifits of a Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare has substantial deductibles and copayments, and you can easily spend thousands of dollars each year for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Medigap insurance provides coverage for these “gaps” in your Medicare coverage and can save you tons of money. Here are some benefits of a Medicare Supplement plan:
- Freedom to choose any doctor or hospital: Unlike Medicare Advantage which has a network of doctors you have to select from that can change midyear.
- Predictable out of pocket expenses: With Medicare Supplement you will always have an idea what you will need to pay. With Medicare Advantage deductibles and copayments can change every year, which can become extremely confusing.
- No referral necessary: Unlike Medicare Advantage where a referral is necessary for most plans, which is just more work for you.
- As long as you pay your premium your plan cannot be dropped.
- With Medicare Supplement you have the ability to travel the country and see any doctor.(Medicare Advantage does not allow this).