What is a Medicare Supplement
When asking what is a Medicare Supplement, it is first important to understand Medicare and how it works. Medicare covers 80% of approved health care expenses. Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap Plans, are designed to cover the remaining 20%. Medicare Supplements fill the gap in coverage that Medicare doesn’t pay.
There are Ten Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans
Each of these Medigap Plans, regardless of the insurance company, offer the same combination of benefits. For example, a Medigap Plan F with Company ABC offers the same benefits as a Medigap Plan F with Company XYZ.
Medicare Supplement Plan List
There are Nine Medicare Supplement Benefits a Plan Can Cover
Each of these benefits will pay for coinsurance, deductibles, and/or services not covered by Medicare.
- Medicare Part A Coinsurance (Hospital)
- Medicare Part B Coinsurance (Medical)
- Blood (First 3 Pints)
- Hospice Care Coinsurance and Copay
- Skilled Nursing Coinsurance
- Part A Deductible
- Part B Deductible
- Part B Excess Charge
- Foreign Travel Emergency
For a more in-depth description of the individual benefits see our “Medicare Supplement Benefit Guide.”
What is a Medicare Supplement Benefit Chart
Below you will find a Medicare Supplement benefit chart. It outlines each of the ten standardized Medicare Supplement plans and the benefits they cover.
*Medigap Plan K and Medigap Plan L pay 100% of hospitalization and preventive care basic benefits. All other basic benefits are paid at a percentage until the annual out of pocket limit is reached. Both then pay at 100%.
*Medigap Plan K pays 50% until $4,960 then 100%
*Medigap Plan L pays 75% until $2,480 then 100%
*Plan N has a copay of $20 for doctor office visits and a $50 for emergency room visits.
There are Advantages to Medicare Supplements
vs. Medicare Advantage
- Predictable costs
- Freedom to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare
- Freedom to see a specialist that accepts Medicare without a referral
- Same benefits year after year
- Guaranteed renewable coverage
- Coverage for foreign travel (some plans)
For a more in-depth comparison see “Medicare Supplements vs. Medicare Advantage.”