What Is Medigap Insurance?

Your retirement insurance routine doesn’t end after you’ve signed up for a Medicare insurance plan at the age of 65 because Medicare insurance covers only about 80% of costs for doctors, hospitals, and medical procedures and usually excludes routine dental care and prescription drugs. As for the rest, you can cover it with Medigap, one of the two major extra health insurance programs for older people in the U.S.

Medigap is an extra insurance program that you buy from a private company to cover costs not covered by Medicare, such as deductibles, co-payments, and health care when you travel outside the country.

What Does Medigap Insurance Cover?

Depending on the specific plan, labeled A through N, Medigap can cover some specific expenses that are not covered by Medicare, though Medigap usually doesn’t cover hearing aids, vision care, eyeglasses, dental care, and long-term care.

Medigap coverage is only available to people aged 65+ who have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Those using Medicare Advantage (the other major extra health insurance program in the U.S.) cannot use Medigap, though they can replace one with another. To buy a Medigap plan, you have a deadline of 6 months from the first date of the month of your 65th birthday or 6 months since you’ve signed up for Medicare Part B.

The benefits of the standard Medigap plans (A through N) remain the same in all states barring Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, which all offer somewhat different Medigap insurance policies.

How Much Is Medigap Insurance?

The cost of Medigap coverage depends on your insurance plan, insurance company, age, and sometimes also location, but the type and amount of coverage will always be the same except for the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.