How Does a Medicare Supplement Plan Work?

iHealthcareNovember 25, 2021

Medicare Supplement, also known as Medigap, is a health insurance plan designed to work with Original Medicare. However, Medicare Supplement insurance plans don’t work like most healthcare insurance plans because they don’t offer coverage for any health benefits. Instead, Medicare Supplements covers the costs Medicare beneficiaries are liable to pay for with Medicare Part A and Part B.

How Do Medicare Supplements Work with Original Medicare?

If you have Original Medicare, there are about ten standardized Medigap plans available for you. The Medicare Supplements are lettered A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Each of these Medicare Supplement Plans may offer coverage for four or more of these benefits:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance for hospital costs
  • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance
  • Part B excess charges
  • Part B deductible
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • The first three pints of blood
  • Foreign travel emergencies

All Medigap plans cover 100% Medicare Part A hospital costs and coinsurance, but some plans only cover a certain percentage of other out-of-pocket costs. For example, while all Medigap plans cover the first three pints of blood for transfusions, they are provided at varying levels – Medicare Supplement Plan K covers 50%, and Plan L covers 75%. The remaining Medicare Supplement plans cover blood transfusions at 100%. 

However, keep in mind that if you were not eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to purchase Medigap Plan C and Plan F. These Medicare Supplement plans have been phased out, but Medicare beneficiaries who are already enrolled in one can keep it.

How Do They Work with Other Types of Health Insurance?

Medigap plans only work with Original Medicare. It is not designed to work with Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D, TRICARE, or Medicaid plans. It is illegal for any private insurance company to sell Medicare Supplement plans to those that already have Medicare Part C plans or Medicaid unless the Medicare Supplement coverage is ending. Also, Medigap plans don’t cover hearing, vision, or dental care, long-term care, or private nursing.

You can contact iHealthcare Direct for more information about how Medicare Supplement plans work. Our experienced Medicare experts can help you determine your next steps and find the best Medicare Supplement insurance plan for your needs.

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