Medicare is a federal health insurance program aimed at retirement-age Americans. It helps make health coverage more affordable and less costly than private health insurance. Many people even get part of it premium-free. However, Medicare beneficiaries still have to pay for some costs of health care — like deductibles and coinsurance — on their own. Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as a Medigap plan, can help cover these expenses.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans help people enrolled in Original Medicare pay out-of-pocket health insurance expenses, like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Original Medicare is comprised of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Part A is insurance for hospital care and Part B covers doctor and outpatient insurance. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part C, a private alternative to Original Medicare, you cannot get a Medicare Supplement policy.
Your specific coverage varies depending on what Medicare supplement plan you buy. There are ten standardized Medigap plans, identified in most states by letters: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. (Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin standardize their Medicare Supplement plans differently.)