Also known as Medicare supplemental insurance, “Medigap” is a type of health insurance policy available through private insurance companies. Medigap refers to the type of coverage these policies cover: the difference between what Medicare covers and what it doesn’t cover. The “gap” is the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare insurance. According to the federal government, almost one-fifth of those covered by Medicare purchase Medigap coverage to cover their unreimbursed Medicare costs.
Medicare insurance covers senior citizens age 65 or older and those with certain serious kidney diseases, regardless of age. Additionally, if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you may also receive Medicare benefits, regardless of your age. Depending on the type of Medigap coverage you purchase, you may be eligible to receive prescription drug coverage. Currently, Medigap insurance policies only cover out-of-pocket hospital costs and doctor’s visits uncovered by Medicare. For instance, your Medicare policy may not cover copays or insurance deductibles, in which case purchasing supplemental insurance could save you money, depending on your health care needs. According to federal and state laws, most Medigap providers must provide their enrollees with a standard package of benefits. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides a free downloadable publication to help you understand the basics of Medigap policies: http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/02110.pdf
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