Medicare Supplemental Insurance

There are some expenses that the Original Medicare cannot cover, such as co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles. This is where Medigap can be of benefit.

Medicare is a type of insurance that pays for many health-related services as well as medical supplies. Medigap, the Medicare supplemental insurance, can also be used to cover the gaps that other insurance plans cannot cover such as co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles. Although insurance plans can cover most of all the major expenses, these uncovered expenses can also add up to a lot. Especially if you are hospitalized or if you need skilled nursing home services, Medicare supplemental insurance can prove to be very helpful.

There are some Medicare supplemental policies that pay for other health services that are outside the U.S. as well as for other preventive services that aren’t normally covered by Medicare.

How Medigap Can Help

Medicare Supplemental Insurance is a voluntary policy which means that you will be responsible for either the monthly or the quarterly premium. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the costs of purchasing a Medigap policy.

If you hold an Original Medicare plan, Parts A and B, and you also have a Medigap policy, the original Medicare plan will be responsible for paying your Medicare-approved expenses for the covered health care costs and the Medigap or the Medicare Supplemental Insurance will cover the rest of the costs that the original Medicare plan did not.

Considerations When Buying a Medigap Policy

Private insurance companies offer these Medigap or Medicare supplemental insurance policies. Each policy is required to follow Federal and state laws that are designed to protect the consumers.

Only standardized Medigap policies are sold by Medigap insurance companies. These are identified by the letters A through L. All of these Medigap plans offer the same set of basic benefits, regardless of the insurance company that is selling it.

Each Medigap policy is sold at a price that depends on the plan you pick as well as the insurance company you buy from. Costs of the plans vary depending on the amount of coverage. For example, Plan A provides the fewest benefits, which means that it is also offered with the lowest premiums. In turn, plans that offer more benefits, such as Plan J, generally come with higher premiums. The most popular of all the plans are Plans C and F. They cover major benefits and most also find them less expensive than other plans.
Medicare generally defines what is covered in each plan. However, they do not control or regulate how much the insurance company selling these plans charge for them.

Medicare supplemental insurance plans A through J cover basic benefits such as inpatient hospital care, medical costs and blood. You can also avail of hospital annual deductible, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, part B annual deductible, emergency care during foreign travel, at-home recovery care, preventive care not included in Medicare and Medicare Part B excess doctor charges. These are offered depending on the Medigap plan that you select.