What is Medigap insurance?
Medigap insurance policies are sold by private insurance companies and are designed to supplement Medicare. There are 10 Medigap policies labeled A through J. Since policies with the same letter designation are required by federal law to provide the same benefits, they are easily comparable. In other words, no matter what company sells the policy, all Medigap A policies cover the same set of services, all Medigap B polices cover the same set of services, etc. When purchasing Medigap insurance shop around. Policies offering the same benefits can vary greatly in price. In addition, you want a policy that truly supplements Medicare. One that will pay that portion of the bill not covered by Medicare as well as cover some additional health services not provided by Medicare. For example, some Medigap policies provide limited prescription drug coverage, a benefit not provided by Medicare. However, policies that provide benefits over and above those covered by Medicare tend to be more expensive.
Gail Carlson, MPH Ph.D., Continuing Medical Education, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, November 26, 2008