What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

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Learn the basics of Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, what they cover and what they don’t cover.

What does the Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, mean?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is private health insurance in addition to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). It helps pay about 20% 1 of Medicare costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance cover?

Medicare Supplement Insurance helps cover some costs that Original Medicare Part A and Part B don’t pay for. These plans help pay copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for your Part A (hospital care) and Part B (medical care), as well as costs additional out-of-pocket costs such as hospital stays, doctor services, home health care, lab costs, durable medical equipment and more.

Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan will pay its share of the costs.

There is a wide variety of Medicare Supplement Plans with different levels of coverage and costs, from basic to comprehensive. Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance not cover?

Medicare Supplement policies do not include prescription drug coverage or dental coverage. But you can buy those plans separately. Cigna offers two dental and prescription drug plans, many with low-cost monthly premiums.

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How does Medicare Supplement Insurance work with Medicare?

Medicare Supplement Insurance works with Original Medicare Part A and Part B. If you decide to buy a separate Part D prescription drug plan, Medicare Supplement works with that part as well.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is different from Medicare Advantage. You can have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan, but not both at the same time.

Who is eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

If you’re age 65 or older and enrolled in Original Medicare Part B, you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance. You can apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan at any time throughout the calendar year. However, during your 6-month open enrollment period, you can purchase any policy offered in your state and are guaranteed coverage even if you have pre-existing health conditions.

  • If you retire at age 65 and apply for Medicare Part B, your open enrollment period lasts six months from the first day your Part B coverage begins.
  • If you don’t retire and continue to have health coverage through your employer’s insurance, the open enrollment period begins when you retire and sign up for Part B coverage.

Medicare Supplement plans are available to people under the age of 65 who are eligible for Medicare due to disability.

What are the types of Medicare Supplement Plans?

There is a wide variety of Medicare Supplement Plans. The names of the different types of plans are listed alphabetically, Plan A through Plan N. Note that they are not the same as other parts of Medicare, which are also listed alphabetically.

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Medicare Supplement Plans range from those that offer primary coverage to those that offer a much higher level of coverage—understanding your health care needs and your financial situation can help you choose a Medicare Supplement Plan.

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