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Medicare supplement or Medigap

Reduce the out-of-pocket costs of deductibles and co-payments

revised 11/3/2015

A "Medicare supplement" or "Medigap" policy is health insurance from a private insurance company specifically designed to fill the “gaps” in Medicare coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that Medicare does not cover. If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs.

Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium ($96.40 in 2011 for most beneficiaries). In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable. This means it is automatically renewed each year. Your coverage will continue year after year as long as you pay your premium. In some states, insurance companies may refuse to renew a Medigap policy bought before 1992.

Medigap policies are "standardized" by federal and state laws that are designed to protect consumers. The standardized Medigap policies that insurance companies offer must provide the same benefits. The front of a Medigap policy must clearly identify it as “Medicare Supplement Insurance” and identify the standard policy type. Generally, the only difference between Medigap policies sold by different insurance companies is the cost. It is important to compare Medigap policies, because costs can vary.

If you are married then you and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies. Your Medigap policy won't cover any health care costs for your spouse.

Some Medigap policies also cover other extra benefits that are not covered by Medicare.

Because of the rising cost of Medigap coverage, some people look for alternate ways to reduce some of the risk with insurance other than traditional Medigap policies. Supplemental accident coverage, cancer or hospital supplement policies may be used for this purpose.

The following Medicare supplement policies are offered though one or more insurance exchange:

  • AARP
  • Admiral Life Insurance Company of America
  • Aetna Life Insurance Company
  • American Continental Insurance Company
  • Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company
  • Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield
  • Assured Life - Woodmen of The World
  • Assurity Life Insurance Company
  • Avalon Insurance Company
  • Baltimore Life
  • Bankers Fidelity Life
  • BlueCross BlueShield
  • Bravo
  • CONSECO
  • Empire BCBS
  • Family Life Insurance Company
  • Fidelity Life Association
  • Foresters
  • Forethought Fore Life
  • Geisinger
  • Gerber Life Insurance Company
  • Health America
  • Highmark
  • Humana Insurance Company
  • Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company
  • Loyal American Life Insurance Company
  • Madison National Life Insurance Company
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio
  • Medico Insurance Company
  • Mutual of Omaha Company
  • Oxford Life Insurance Company
  • Presidential Life Insurance Company
  • Royal Neighbors of America
  • Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company
  • Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
  • Sterling Investors Life Insurance Company
  • United American Insurance Company
  • United Home Life

 

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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.