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Supplemental Medicare Insurance – What Does That Mean?

Many people new to Medicare search the internet for “supplemental Medicare insurance” when they start searching for insurance options.  What they are usually really looking for is information about the different types of Medicare insurance.

A Medicare “supplement” is a type of Medicare insurance that works with original Medicare.  It is also referred to as “Medigap” insurance as it fills in the “gap” for what Medicare doesn’t cover, which is about 20% of the cost.  These typically require a separate Prescription Drug Plan.  Medigap plans require no medical underwriting when you first enroll in them at age 65.

The other type of Medicare insurance is called “Medicare Advantage”.  Your care in these plans works through a contracted network of providers who are completely responsible for your care and the administration and processing of paperwork.  These typically have a Prescription Drug benefit but can be purchased without one.  Medicare Advantage plans run on a calendar year basis.   Medical underwriting is not usually required to change plans.

Both have advantages which can be determined by reviewing your individual circumstances with a Medicare specialist.