What is Medigap Insurance?
A Medigap policy is a health insurance policy sold through a private insurance company to help fill in the “gap” in Medicare’s costs. Medigap policies help pay some of the costs that original Medicare does not cover. Medigap policies, like Medicare, will only cover one beneficiary, not your spouse. It is important to understand that both you and your spouse must get separate medigap policies. Also, in most cases you will not be eligible to purchase a Medigap policy unless you are also enrolled in Part B.
Medigap policies are regulated by the government to protect the consumer and they are “standardized” by the insurance company so that you may make an apples to apples comparison. You can choose up to 12 different types of policies that are labeled Plans A through L.
Medigap Plan A is the most basic coverage that also has the lowest premiums. As you move through the Medigap plan alphabet, the features and coverage increase though Part L. For example, Medigap G will have more benefits than F, but less than H.
Medigap premiums obviously vary based on the plan you choose, but also by the insurance carrier. Although there is continuity amongst plans (Medigap D will have the same coverage amongst all companies), there can be a big difference in premiums. It is important that once you find the appropriate coverage, you shop the costs.
Traditionally, Medigap policies have only covered gaps in traditional Medicare, however, there are some companies offering additional coverage that are not at all covered by Medicare, such as hearing aids and international travel coverage. Be sure to do your research to ensure you find the right program with the right coverage for you.