What Is Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance?
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.
What you need to know about Medigap policies
- You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that’s licensed in your state to sell one. There are various types of Medigap policies available depending on your need.
- 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.
- 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).
- It’s illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
- At certain times, you can enroll in a Medigap plan guarantee issued (no underwriting), such as when first eligible for Medicare at age 65, or losing group health coverage. If you cancel a Medigap plan and try to enroll at a later date, you will have to apply, and go through underwriting. You are not guaranteed coverage.