Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare supplement insurance, or Medigap, is a health coverage plan provided by a private insurance company that you can get in addition to Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare supplement insurance plans are intended to “fill the gaps” in coverage left by Parts A and B, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Please note that Medicare supplement insurance plans do not cover prescription drugs.
There are multiple standardized Medicare supplement insurance plans, each giving varying levels of additional coverage. Some Medicare supplement insurance plans offer coverage for things that original Medicare does not cover, such as coverage when you are traveling outside the United States.
Things to Know About Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
- If you have a Medicare advantage plan, you can apply for a Medicare supplement insurance plan, but be sure to you are able to leave the Medicare advantage plan before the Medicare supplement insurance plan begins.
- A Medicare supplement insurance plan only covers one person, so if you and your spouse both want this type of coverage you will have to buy two plans.
- You must have Medicare parts A and B in order to get a Medicare supplement insurance plan.
- You will pay a private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap plan, along with the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
- You can buy a Medigap plan from any insurance company that is licensed to sell one in your state of residence.
- Any standardized Medicare supplement insurance plan is renewable even if you have health problems. As long as you are paying the premiums, the insurance company cannot cancel your plan.
- Past Medigap plan covered prescription drugs, but any plans sold after January 1, 2006, do not cover prescription drugs. If you want prescription drug coverage, you will have to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Part D.
- It is illegal for anyone to sell you a Medicare supplement insurance plan if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
The best time to enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance plan is during the first six months in which you are age 65 or older and also enrolled in Medicare Part B.