No matter which way you swing it, Original Medicare (Parts A & B) are simply not enough to cover your medical expenses. From your annual deductible to copays and coinsurance, Medicare can leave you more exposed than you might think. A Medicare Supplement plan, or just “Medigap”, is designed to fix all that.

The Anatomy of a Great Medicare Supplement Plan

These private, low-cost insurance plans work alongside your Medicare to make sure that you’re never caught off guard by out-of-pocket expenses.

But how does Medigap work? And how do you choose a Medicare Supplement plan? In this quick guide, we’ll answer those questions and more, giving you the info you need to take action.  

Start Here: The different types of Medicare plans

Between Original Medicare, Part D, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage, it’s no surprise that people get confused. Here’s a quick explanation of the different types of plans available:

Original Medicare (Parts A & B)

This is the Medicare coverage that Americans receive when they turn 65. Medicare Part A covers hospital and medical costs. Meanwhile, Medicare Part B covers outpatient services, doctor visits, preventive care, and more.

Medicare Supplement Plan (AKA Medigap)

Medigap is a stand-alone, private insurance plan that can cover the out-of-pocket costs of medical services. This includes deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. There are 10 different standardized Medigap plans to choose from, each with different levels of protection. (Note: If you live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Massachusetts, the plans are a bit different.

Like conventional insurance plans, Medigap coverage comes with a monthly premium.

Medicare Advantage

Like Medigap, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are offered by private insurance companies. MA plans are generally more comprehensive than Medigap, providing coverage for vision, dental, long-term care, and more. However, they also come at a higher price than Medigap.

What do Medigap plans cover?

Each of the 10 standardized Medigap plans are a little bit different. All Medigap plans, however, provide coverage for the following:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B coinsurance and copays
  • First 3 pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care

Depending on which plan you choose, you can also get coverage for:

  • Care at a skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Emergency medical care while traveling overseas

What’s the best Medigap plan?

The best Medigap plan for you will depend on your health and medical needs. Generally speaking, Medigap Plan F is the most comprehensive, and it comes in a popular high-deductible version.

Your Personal Benefits Manager can work with you to find the Medigap plan that is best for your needs.

Do I need a Medicare Supplement plan?

A lot of people think that when they turn 65, all of their healthcare costs will be covered by Medicare. This is not the case. In fact, Original Medicare has huge gaps in coverage that leave you exposed to out-of-pocket costs. If you’re not careful, these coverage gaps can eat away at your retirement savings.

Ready to sign up for Medicare Supplement plan?

Our goal at MediGap advisors is to demystify the Medicare process. Whether you’re new to Medicare and looking for more coverage, or you want to switch to a better plan, give us a call. Our Medicare consultations are 100% free to you, and there’s never any obligation to buy.

You can reach your Personal Benefits Manager at 800-913-3416, or schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

Here are some additional articles on Medicare Supplement Plans: How Much Should I Spend on a Medicare Supplement Plan? | MSA vs Medigap Plan G: Comparing the Two Best Ways to Supplement Your Medicare

Here are some additional pages related to this article: Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans | Open Enrollment Dates & Deadlines for Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans

Mike Montes is a Personal Benefits Manager at MediGap Advisors. Mike has a passion for bringing clarity to those confused about Medicare. He is an authority on Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug plans. Read more about Mike on his Bio page.