Medigap Plans

  • Medigap is private health insurance that fills some of the gaps in Original Medicare coverage. It does not cover most services that fall outside of Medicare’s realm of coverage, such as long term care.
  • Of the 12 standard Medigap plans offered (labeled A through L), the most popular are C and F, because they cover major benefits and are less expensive than other plans.
  • Medigap plans require a premium in addition to the premium charged by Medicare for Part B coverage. A Medigap plan typically reduces or eliminates your loved one’s deductibles and copayments.

Next Step

To find the best Medigap plan for your loved one, compare the many different types of plans available.

Compare now

You may have noticed that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything your loved one might need, and that deductibles, coinsurance, and other out-of-pocket costs can quickly add up. Private health insurance companies sell Medicare supplemental insurance, known as Medigap, to fill gaps in coverage and limit out-of-pocket expenses.

These plans add to your loved one’s Original Medicare plan, rather than replacing it. Medigap plans cover all the same services as Original Medicare but typically require less cost-sharing, reducing the amount your loved one pays out of pocket. A Medigap plan may also cover services such as routine check-ups, hearing aids, and vision care, and may broaden your loved one’s range of choice in providers.

Is your loved one under 65?

Medigap insurers are not necessarily required to offer coverage to Medicare-eligible people under the age of 65. Check with your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for details.

Plans A Through L

Most states offer 12 standard Medigap plans, labeled A through L, each of which varies in the level of coverage and benefit provided, with Plan A being the most basic. (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have a different set of plans; contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for details.) Not all insurance companies offer all 12 plans. To compare different plans, see our chart.

Comparing Different Plans

Shopping for a Medigap policy can be confusing. Be sure to carefully review each policy’s details, including features such as the right to renew and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Most Medigap companies have agreements with Medicare to receive claims directly so you don’t have to submit claims--be sure to ask the insurance company if it has a “crossover” arrangement with Medicare. Insurance companies are required to offer a 30-day “free look” period for Medigap plans, during which your loved one can cancel for a full refund.

Each of the Medigap plans costs a different amount, and each health insurance company may charge a different premium on top of what your loved one pays for Part B coverage. Medicare’s Find and Compare Medigap Policies can help you identify potential policies for your loved one. Follow up with insurance companies to get precise quotes.

More Affordable Options

Insurance companies offer MedicareSELECT plans in some states. These cost less than other Medigap policies but restrict your choice of providers, much like an HMO plan. Check with your local SHIP office for details. Your loved one may also be able get supplemental insurance from a former employer as a retiree benefit. For additional government options, see Medicare Assistance Programs.

Next Step: To find the best Medigap plan for your loved one, compare the many different types of plans available. Compare Now

Find a Government Agency

  • Select a state to view agencies that may assist with caregiving and eldercare issues.