What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Get to know the basics of Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, what they cover and don’t cover.

Two senior women walk in a park

What does Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, mean?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, is private health insurance that adds on to Original Medicare (Part A and B). It helps pay about 20%1 of the Medicare expenses that Original Medicare doesn't cover.

Video: What is Medicare Supplement?

This short video helps explain what a Medicare Supplement policy covers, and when and how you can use your plan. (Length: 1:20)

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance cover?

Medicare Supplement Insurance helps cover some costs not paid by Original Medicare Part A and B. These plans help pay copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for your Part A (hospital care) and Part B (medical care), as well as additional out-of-pocket costs for things like hospitalization, doctor’s services, home health care, lab costs, durable medical equipment, and more.

Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health costs. Then, your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan will pay its share of the costs it covers.

There are a wide range of Medicare Supplement plans that differ in coverage and costs, from basic to comprehensive. Compare Medicare Supplement plans

What does Medicare Supplement Insurance not cover?

Medicare Supplement policies do not include prescription drug coverage or dental coverage. But, you can buy those plans separately. Cigna2 offers both prescription and dental plans, many with low cost monthly premiums.

How does Medicare Supplement Insurance work with Medicare?

Medicare Supplement Insurance works with Original Medicare Parts A and B. If you choose to buy a standalone Part D Prescription Drug plan, Medicare Supplement works with that, too.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is different from Medicare Advantage. You can have either a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan, but not both at the same time.

Who is eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

If you are age 65 or older and enrolled in Original Medicare Part B, you may be eligible to enroll for Medicare Supplement Insurance. You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan at any time throughout the calendar year, but during your 6-month open enrollment period, you can buy any policy offered in your state and you are guaranteed coverage even if you have pre-existing health conditions.

  • If you are retiring at 65 and applying for Medicare Part B, your open enrollment period lasts for 6 months starting the first day your Part B coverage begins.
  • If you are not retiring until later and still getting medical coverage under your employer’s insurance, then your open enrollment starts when you do retire and sign up for Part B coverage.

Medicare Supplement plans are also available to you if you’re younger than age 65 and eligible for Medicare due to disability.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement Enrollment and Eligibility

What are the types of Medicare Supplement Plans?

There are a wide range of Medicare Supplement plans. The different types of plans are named alphabetically, Plan A through Plan N. (Note, that they are not the same as other parts of Medicare, which are also named alphabetically.)

Medicare Supplement plans range from those that offer basic coverage, to those offering a much higher level of coverage. Understanding your health care needs, as well as your financial situation, can help when choosing a Medicare Supplement plan.

Compare Medicare Supplement plans

1 After the Part B Deductible has been met.

2 Insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, American Retirement Life Insurance Company, Loyal American Life Insurance Company or Cigna National Health Insurance Company. In Kansas and Pennsylvania, Medicare Supplement insurance policies are insured by Cigna National Life Insurance Company. American Retirement Life Insurance Company, Loyal American Life Insurance Company and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company plans are not available to residents of Kansas or Pennsylvania.

View State Disclosures, Exclusions, and Limitations

Notice for persons eligible for Medicare because of disability:

In the following states, all Medicare Supplement plans are available to persons eligible for Medicare because of disability: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Tennessee Medicare Supplement Policy Forms


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