Medigap Policies (Medicare Supplements)

What is a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy?

A Medigap (also called “Medicare Supplement Insurance”) policy is private health insurance that is designed to supplement Original Medicare. This means it helps pay some of the health care costs (“gaps”) that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles). Medigap policies may also cover certain things that Medicare doesn’t cover. If you are in Original Medicare and you have a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amounts for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share. (Note: Medicare doesn’t pay any of the costs for you to get a Medigap policy.) Also, a Medigap policy is different than a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) because it’s not a way to get Medicare benefits.

Every Medigap policy must follow Federal and state laws designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identifi ed as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Medigap insurance companies can only sell you a “standardized” Medigap policy identified by letters A through L. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefi ts, no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies.

Medigap Policy, Medicare Supplement Standardized Plan Chart

Source: CMS publication #10050, Medicare & You , available online at: