Medicare Basics: Medicare Supplement Insurance helps fill the gaps in Medicare coverage.
Are you seeking information on Medicare Supplement Insurance? A Medicare Supplement policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill gaps in Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement (also called Medigap) policies can help pay your share (coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles) of the costs of Medicare-covered services. Some Medicare Supplement policies also cover certain benefits Original Medicare doesn't cover.
If you are in Original Medicare and you have a Medicare Supplement policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amounts for covered health carecosts. Then your Medicare Supplement policy pays its share.
Medicare does not pay any of the costs for you to get a Medicare Supplement policy.)
What is the Medicare Supplement plan?
A Medicare Supplement policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the gaps in Original Medicare coverage. It's also referred to as Medigap. These policies will pay your share (co-insurance, co-payments or deductibles) of the costs of Medicare-covered services. It may also cover some benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover.
How does Medicare Supplement differ from the Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Supplement policy is different than a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) because those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medicare Supplement policy only supplements your Medicare benefits.
Every Medicare Supplement policy must follow Federal and state laws designed to protect you, and the policy must be clearly identified as "Medicare Supplement Insurance." Medigap insurance companies in most states can only sell you a "standardized" Medigap policy identified by letters A through N. Each standardized Medicare Supplement policy must offer the same basic benefits, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medicare Supplement policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies.
NOTE: In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medicare Supplement policies are standardized in a different way. Available in certain areas of the country are Medicare Cost Plans, a type of Medicare health plan that is a kind of hybrid plan between a Medicare Supplement policy and a Medicare Advantage Plan. In some states, you may be able to buy another type of Medicare Supplement policy called Medicare SELECT.
What Medicare Supplement should I choose?
While Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, there are still many options to choose from. This is why the Medicare Genie was conceived, to make it easier for you to see which plan would best fit your needs.
When choosing a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to consider your future as well as your current health care needs when deciding which benefits you want and need, because you might not be able to switch Medicare Supplement policies later.
"Make it Easy" by clicking on the Medicare Genie and answering a few simple questions. The Genie will help you identify which benefits you need, and help you select the policy that will work best for you.
NOTE: While each Medicare Supplement plan is standardized (meaning the benefits are the same from one company to the next), the premiums can vary significantly. The Medicare Genie will compare all of these Medicare Supplement plan costs and quote to you the best price available for your area.
What Is Medicare Insurance? Medicare Insurance is health coverage for the following:
- People 65 or older
- People under 65 with certain disabilities
- People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)
Medicare Insurance Parts - Descriptions
The Different Parts of Medicare
The different parts of Medicare Insurance help cover specific services:
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
- Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals
- Helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
- Helps cover doctors' services, hospital outpatient care, and home health care
- Helps cover some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage)
- Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) are health plans run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.
- Medicare Advantage Plans (also called "Part C") include Part A, Part B, and usually other coverage like Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D), sometimes for an extra cost.
Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)
- A prescription drug option run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
- Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
- May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future
How can Medicare Insurance help pay my bills?
Medicare Insurance policies will generally pay most or all of the Medicare coinsurance amounts and deductibles. No plan will cover prescription drugs, for that you need a Medicare prescription drug plan. Certain plans will also pay for emergency medical care in a foreign country.
Your Medigap plan will not cover your spouse, you will each need a separate policy. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies don't cover long-term care (nursing home care), dental or vision care, hearing aids or eyeglasses.
Medicare supplement insurance policies, also known as Medigap, are designed to plug the gaps left in Original Medicare. Medicare insurance policies are private insurance policies that cover Medicare coinsurance, co-payments and deductibles that you'd otherwise have to pay yourself. Some Medicare Insurance policies also pay for costs not covered by Original Medicare.