What is Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance?

A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Your Medigap policy pays its share.

A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.

What you need to know about Medicare Supplement policies

Features of ALL Medicare Supplement Plans

Do I need Medicare Supplement Insurance If I have Medicare already?

While Part A is free for most beneficiaries, it comes with a $1,556 deductible per benefit period. And although Part B comes with a low $233 per-year deductible, you typically pay 20% of the remainder for most doctor services — including while you’re a hospital inpatient — as well as outpatient therapy, Part B Medications,sych as Injections at doctors office, and durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, cpap supplies, or oxygen.

That 20% is after your deductible, There’s no limit to how much you’d pay out of pocket 

If you have a heart attack, need multiple surgeries and hospital visits, you could literally end up bankrupt.

Heart bypass surgery can cost more than $100,000, according to Statista. Heart-valve replacement can run upwards of $170,000. For illustration purposes only: If all those charges were delivered through Part B, your 20% share would be at least $20,000 for the bypass and $34,000 for the valve replacement.

When you first enroll in Medicare Part B, you get six months to purchase a Medigap policy without an insurance company nosing through your health history and deciding whether to insure you. After that, unless your state allows special exceptions, you have to go through medical underwriting.

While a number of companies offer Medigap insurance, they can only offer policies from a list of about 10 standardized plans. Each is simply assigned a letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Some states also offer a high-deductible version of Plan F.

This standardization means that, say, Plan G at one insurance company is the same as Plan G at another