Key Takeaways

  • What exactly is Medigap? A Medigap plan offers benefits to pay for costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B.

  • You can purchase a Medigap policy from any insurance carrier that's licensed in your state to sell one.

  • Medigap is different from Medicare Advantage, which is simply another way of receiving your Medicare benefits.

These additional costs are sometimes called the “gaps” in Medicare coverage. Medigap helps pay for those gaps, similar to retiree insurance.

What is Medigap and how does it work?

Medigap is a supplemental insurance policy sold by private companies that can be used along with Medicare Parts A and B to fill the gaps in their coverage. It can help you cover costs related to deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and more.

Some Medigap policies provide coverage for medical services that don’t fall under Original Medicare. One example is doctor or hospital visits that take place when you’re traveling in another country. A Medigap policy will typically pay the difference between the total healthcare costs and the Medicare-approved amount.

You must have Medicare Part A and Part B in order to obtain a Medigap policy. A Medigap plan can be purchased from any insurance carrier that's licensed in your state to sell one.

What is Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage?

You might be wondering if a Medigap policy is the same as a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. The answer is no. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way to obtain Medicare benefits once you qualify. In contrast, the purpose of a Medigap policy is to bridge the gaps in your Original Medicare coverage. It’s purely a supplemental type of plan.

What do Medigap plans cost?

Medigap is an optional insurance policy. If you choose to get one, you’re responsible for paying a monthly premium from the private insurance carrier. This cost is in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.

What is Medigap coverage used for?

For the most part, Medigap plans are designed to cover out-of-pocket costs for services that are covered by Medicare, as opposed to care that Medicare doesn’t cover and that the enrollee has to pay entirely out-of-pocket. For example, Medigap plans do not cover dental and vision charges, as Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) does not provide routine dental and vision coverage.