What are Medicare supplement plans?
Medicare supplement plans work differently than a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare supplement plans are commonly referred to as simply Medigap, which refers to the way supplemental plans are used to help seniors bridge the gap between the costs their traditional Medicare Parts A and B cover, and the medical expenses that it does not. Medicare supplement plans are sold by private companies and typically assist with expenses that come in the form of copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
It is sometimes the case that Medicare supplemental insurance plans will offer coverage that would not be provided by a traditional Medicare plan. For example, it may allow subscribers to file claims on medical expenses that are accrued outside of the borders of the United States. If you have a traditional Medicare plan, and then purchase supplemental plans, those supplements will assist you financially by paying their portion of medical expenses after your traditional plan has first paid their share. Also, Medicare supplement plans do not cover Part D prescription drugs. If you wish to have a Part D prescription drug plan along with your Medicare supplement, a stand alone Part D prescription drug plan would need to be purchased.
Note: Medigap plans sold to people who are newly eligible for Medicare aren’t allowed to cover the Part B deductible. Because of this, Plans C and F aren’t available to people newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you already have or were covered by Plan C or F (or the Plan F high deductible version) before January 1, 2020, you can keep your plan. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, but not yet enrolled, you may be able to buy one of these plans that cover the Part B deductible.