If you want to stay in original Medicare, you may want to look into your options
for supplement plan coverage. Without such coverage, your out-of-pocket costs could
be high if you require medical care. Supplement plan insurance helps pay the deductibles
and coinsurance costs that original Medicare does not cover.
You may be able to get supplement plan insurance from a former employer or union.
If not, you can buy Medicare supplement plan insurance (Medigap) directly from an
If you want to buy a Medicare supplement plan insurance policy, known as Medigap,
you must decide which benefit package to buy and which insurer to use. Before making
a decision, you should clearly understand what benefits are covered and how to compare
There are 10 different standardized Medigap Supplement plan, labeled A-N. Not all
plans are available in all areas. Each Medigap Supplement Plan pays for a particular
set of benefits.
The cost of your Medigap Supplement Plan policy depends on the type of Medigap Supplement
Plan you choose, the company from which you buy it, and the cost of Medigap Supplement
Plan in the state where you live. Once you have chosen the plan you want, it pays
to shop around. Plans with the same letter name offer the same benefits, but the
premiums vary from company to company. If you buy your Medigap Supplement Plan policy
during your open enrollment period or other federally mandated times, your premium
cannot vary based on your health status.
No insurance policy fills gaps in coverage for Medicare HMOs or any of the other
Medicare private health plans. Should you select an HMO, PPO, or other type of plan,
you should budget for any costs that the plan doesn't cover. Many have a cap on
the annual out-of-pocket costs that you are required to pay.