What are Medicare Supplement Plans?

Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap Plans, are plans which cover for health care services that Original Medicare does not cover, such as copayments, coinsurance and yearly deductibles. It also covers emergency health costs incurred while outside the U.S.

 How it works

The Original Medicare pays first for costs incurred in health-care services and supplies provided to a beneficiary, Medigap plans then fills in the cost gaps. Simply, it supplements the Original Medicare (part A and B).

When to enroll

It is advisable to enroll for Medigap Plans during the first six-month Medigap open enrollment period.  This period begins automatically the first month a person turns 65 and is enrolled in Medicare Part B.  During this period, you can buy any plan available in your state in spite of your health status. After this period, it is not easy to buy these plans. If you are able to buy one, it may cost you more.

Additional facts

  • You can only enroll in a Cigna Medicare Supplement if you have Original Medicare (Part A and B).
  • It does not cover hearing aid, vision or dental care, long-term care, eyeglasses or private-duty nursing.
  • Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Medicaid, TRICARE, Veterans Benefits and long-term care insurance policies are not Medigap Plans.
  • You can use your plan with any provider that accepts Medicare.
  • It only covers one beneficiary. In case you have a spouse, you should buy two different plans.
  • It does not include drug prescription coverage. To cover your drug prescriptions cost, you can to join Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  • It is available in licensed private insurance in many states
  • It is illegal for any licensed insurance company to sell plans to any person who has a Medicare Medical Account (MSA) plan.
  • In most states, Medigap is only available to persons who are 65 years old and above. If you are enrolled and you are under 65, check with your states insurance department to find out if you are eligible.
  • Not all Medicare supplement Plans may be available in your state.
  • Your plan is guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay your premium.
  • Premium cost may vary by plan and location, even for standardized benefits.
  • You can’t use your plan to pay for cost you may have with a Medicare Advantage Plan. It can only cover costs in Original Medicare.