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Medicare supplement insurance: Medigap


Medicare supplement insurance, or Medigap, is private insurance that helps pay for some of the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).


There are ten plans standardized by the federal government. Each is labeled with a letter. All plans with the same letter offer the same benefits. Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have different plans.


Helps pay some costs not paid by Original Medicare


What Medicare supplement insurance covers

All Medicare Supplement plans fully or partially pay:

  • Part A hospital coinsurance

  • Part B coinsurance or copays

  • Cost of blood transfusions (first 3 pints)

  • Cost for 365 extra hospital days

  • Hospice care coinsurance


Medicare supplement plans may also help pay:

  • Part A deductible

  • Part B deductible

  • Part B excess charges

  • Cost of foreign travel emergency care up to plan limits

  • Part A skilled nursing facility care coinsurance


What isn’t covered by Medicare supplement insurance

  • Prescription drugs

  • Long-Term care

  • Routine eye exams or eyeglasses

  • Routine hearing test or hearing aids

  • Routine dental exams, cleaning or X-rays

  • Private duty nursing

  • Days in a skilled nursing facility beyond the 100 days covered by Part A



Level of coverage by Medicare supplement plan


What you pay for Medicare supplement insurance


Plans set their own premiums. As a general rule, the more generous the coverage, the higher the premium.


Premiums vary widely from insurer to insurer even if they offer the exact same coverage. Plans may change their premiums from year to year.


Plans pay different costs

The level of coverage and what you pay varies by plan. Some plans split certain costs with you up to a set limit. Others leave certain costs, like the Part B deductible or select copays, for you to pay on your own.

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