Original Medicare pays for many, but not all health care services and supplies. For most services and supplies, Medicare will pay 80% of the cost and you are responsible for the other 20%. To pay for this 20% you have two options: 1) you pay it from your own personal funds 2) you purchase a Supplemental Insurance Policy also known as Medigap Policy. It is called a Medigap policy because it helps to cover the gap between what Original Medicare pays and the total cost of the service or supply.
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are sold by private insurance companies. These policies can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments. Other services not covered by Original Medicare are covered by some Medigap policies; services such as emergency and urgent care while traveling outside the U.S. Long-term care, eyeglasses, dental, vision, hearing aids, and private-duty nursing are generally not covered by Medigap policies.
All Medigap policies follow standard models set by federal and state laws. These laws are in place to protect you. When companies market their Medigap policies, they must be undoubtedly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” The standardized policies that Insurance companies can sell you are labeled in most states by the letters A,B,C,D,F,G,K,L,M, and N. There are basic benefits offered by every plan. However, besides those basic benefits, some plans offer additional benefits to suit the different needs you may have.
Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin do not follow the standard described above. Those states use a different model of standardization.