What is Medicare Supplemental Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance, which is also known as a Medigap policy, can help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Supplemental Insurance is sold by private companies. If you have Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share.
According to the federal government, people can also buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance to cover special services like health care insurance for people traveling outside the United States.
Medigap policies generally don’t cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.
Who can buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance?
To buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance, you must have Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, which is medical insurance. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is sometimes called Part C, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
Can I get a policy that covers my spouse and me?
A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you’ll each have to buy separate policies.
How should I make a Medicare Supplemental Insurance comparison?
All policies offer the same basic benefits but some offer additional benefits, so you can choose the one which best meets your needs. Every Medigap policy must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized” policy.
Insurance companies that sell Medigap policies don’t have to offer every Medigap plan. Each insurance company decides which Medigap policies it wants to sell.
It’s a good idea to educate yourself about Medigap policies so you know which ones you’re interested in. That way you can ask Medicare Supplemental Insurance companies if they cover the policy you’re interested in before you meet with them.
How to find an agent for Medicare Supplemental Insurance
The federal government makes it easy to find an agent who sells Medicare Supplemental Insurance. Just visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov and enter your zip code to get a list of Medigap providers near you.