A Medicare Supplement Insurance policy (also called “Medigap policy”), is a private health insurance plan that that is designed to fill in some or all of the gaps that Original Medicare does not pay, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Private insurance companies sell these plans, and some plans also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medicare Supplement policy, Medicare will pay its part of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medicare Supplement policy will pay its share. Note: Medicare doesn’t pay any of the premiums for a Medicare Supplement policy.
Medicare Supplement insurance companies offer plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N, so Medicare Supplement policy must follow Federal and state laws (including Arizona) designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized” Medicare Supplement policy, identified in most states by letters. All plans offer the same basic benefits but some offer additional benefits, so you can choose which one meets your needs.
Note: In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way.
Note: Starting June 1, 2010, the types of Medicare Supplement Plans that you can Purchase changed:
Two new Medicare Supplement plans were added Plans M and N. Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available to purchase, but if had bought a Medicare Supplement E, H, I, or J before June 1, 2010, you can keep that plan.
Standard Medicare Supplement Benefits
Medicare Supplement insurance can be sold in only ten standard plans. The chart below shows the benefits included in each plan.
Federal Brochure for Choosing a Medigap Policy
Basic Benefits are included in all plans.
- Hospitalization, Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days during your lifetime after Medicare benefits end.
- Medical Expenses, Part B coinsurance generally (20% of Medicare approved expenses).
- Blood, first three pints of blood each year.
- Hospice Care, Covers Part A Coinsurance year.