Medigap Plans aka Medicare Supplement
April 9, 2010
Let me start off by clarifying for everyone that Medigap plans and a Medicare
supplement are the same type of insurance product. These words are often confused and
believed to be different things however they are the same product. Medigap Plans (aka Medicare
Supplement) are private health insurance policies that are built to supplement
Original Medicare. In general these
plans help provide coverage in the gaps of Medicare – hints this is how the
policies got their name.
A Medigap policy is required to follow different Federal and State laws which
were setup to protect Medicare eligible individuals. When a Medigap policy is sold it must
be labeled in these specific words “Medicare
Supplement Insurance”. Insurance companies that sell these insurance plans are
only allowed to sell “standardized” Medicare Supplements which are identified by
different letters (A- J until June 1st 2010). Each carrier (insurance company)
offers the same basic benefits in their plan.
Since the Medigap plans are required by law to offer the same benefits,
this means that the only difference between Medigap plans comes down to the
price and the financial stability of the insurance company.
Is there anything a Medicare supplement
does not cover?
YES. Please know that Medicare
supplements do not cover custodial care, which is commonly referred to as
Long-Term care. It also does not
cover dental or vision services, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private duty
nursing care. However, in certain
situations lenses and frames can be covered after cataract surgery.
Types of insurance or coverage that are
NOT Medigap plans?
Medicare Advantage Plans – also referred to as MA
or MAPD plans
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Major Medical policies, cancer policies, hospital
Long-Term Care Insurance also known as LTC
Medicaid, TRICARE, VA benefits