When you need Medicare Supplemental Insurance, the type of policy you should shop for is what’s known as Medigap coverage, because this type of insurance fills in the gaps that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. A Medigap policy can assist you in paying deductibles or co-payments on medical services that are covered by Medicare. Depending on the plan you choose, some benefits that aren’t covered under the Original Medicare plan may also be covered. You should be aware of what types of medical services can be covered under certain plans.

If you already are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and choose to buy a Medigap plan, your portion of the costs won’t be covered. Separate prescription drug plans under Medicare Part D will also not be covered. If you already have Medical Insurance coverage that’s provided by your employer or by a union you are a member of, your share of the costs usually won’t be covered. This also applies to health coverage by Medicaid, TRICARE, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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The main difference between Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and a Medigap plan, is that Medigap is totally different from a PPO or HMO. Those particular plans are ways for eligible people to get Medicare benefits. You should also be aware that Medicare will not pay for any of the costs for an eligible recipient to get Medigap coverage. Federal and state laws regarding Medigap policies must be followed as they are for Medicare. When you buy a Medigap policy, it doesn’t which company sells it, if it’s known as a “standardized” Medigap plan, the same benefits must be available. Usually the only difference in the various Medigap plans is the cost, depending on the company you purchase the policy from and the state you reside in.

The types of coverage that aren’t Medigap policies, are the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, long-term care insurance, or Indian Health Services and Urban Indian Health plans. You must already be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B in order to qualify for Medicare Supplemental Insurance. If you currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan, but want to go back to getting benefits from Original Medicare, you can apply for coverage under a Medigap plan before your current coverage ends. If you are married, you and your spouse will have to buy separate policies. You must also buy the supplemental coverage from an insurance company that’s licensed in the state you live in.