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Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Q: What exactly is medicare supplemental insurance?

A: Supplemental Medicare Insurance or "Medigap" insurance is a health insurance policy that is sold by private insurance companies to fill the gaps in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap supplemental insurance policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesnt cover.

Q: Do I really need a Supplemental Insurance Policy?

A: Since Medicare will only pay 80% of covered benefits and with the cost of healthcare increasing at record rates, more and more seniors are turning to Medigap insurance.

Q: Am I eligible and will my policy cover both me and my spouse?

A: Once you become eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital only coverage) and Part B (healthcare coverage) and you enroll in both plans, you then become eligible to buy a Medigap Supplemental insurance policy. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium in addition to a premium to the Medigap insurance company. If you are married, you will need a separate Medigap policy for your spouse.

Q: How do I decide which policy is right for me?

A: Insurance companies are required to sell standardized Medigap policies. There are 12 different policies that insurance companies are able to provide, Medigap Plans A through L with each plan providing a different set of basic and extra benefits. Not all companies will provide all policies but each Medigap policy will provide the exact same benefits, for example, a Medigap Plan C policy offered by one company will have the exact same benefits as a Medigap Plan C policy offered by another insurance company.
It is important to shop around because although the policies are exactly the same, prices can and do vary widely.

Click here for a chart explaining each of the Medigap Policies A through L

For more information check out Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare

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