A Medicare Insurance Supplement is health insurance sold by private insurance companies
to fill the "gaps" in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medicare Insurance Supplement
policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn't
cover. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare
and your Medicare Insurance Supplement policy will both pay their shares of covered
health care costs.
Medicare Insurance Supplement policies must follow Federal and state laws. These
laws protect you. The front of a Medicare Insurance Supplement policy must clearly
identify it as "Medicare Supplement Insurance." Each Medigap Plan, A through L, has
a different set of basic and extra benefits.
It's essential to compare Medicare Insurance Supplement policies, because costs can
vary. Also, insurance companies that sell Medigap policies don't have to offer every
Medigap policy. Each insurance company decides which Medicare Insurance Supplement
policies it wants to sell.
Most of the time, as long as you pays your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed
renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue
year after year as long as you pay your premium.
If you and your spouse both want Medicare Insurance Supplement coverage, you each
must buy separate Medigap policies. Your Medigap policy won't cover any health care
costs for your spouse.
A Medicare Insurance Supplement policy only works with the Original Medicare Plan.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare Health Plan, your Medigap
policy can't pay any deductibles, copayments, or other cost-sharing under your Medicare
Advantage Plan or other Medicare Health Plan. Therefore, you may want to drop your
Medigap policy if you join a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare Health Plan.
However, you have a legal right to keep the Medicare Insurance Supplement policy.