A Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare doesn't cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Your Medigap policy pays its share.
4 things to know about Medigap plan options:
1. There are 11 different plans in most states. Each Medigap plan option is named with a different letter.
2. BY FEDERAL LAW, plans with the same letter provide the exact same benefits, no matter which company you buy from. The only difference is the cost of the premium. Plans with different letters provide different benefits.
3. The most comprehensive plan options are Plan G and Plan N.
4. Premiums vary between different plan options because they offer varying levels of protection. There are 9 Medicare Supplement plans to choose from. Each has been standardized by the U.S. government and is available in almost every state. (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have different options.)
What you need to know about Medigap policies
1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
3. 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.
4. You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that's licensed in your state to sell one.
5. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
6. Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 aren't allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
7. It's illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
For more information about Medigap and Medicare visit www.medicare.gov
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