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MedicareSupplemental.com is an information portal and quote provider for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also called "Medigap" insurance. If you are visiting us, you are likely to be either looking for or contemplating the purchase of a Medicare Supplemental policy.

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Medicare Supplemental 101

If you've filled out the forms and chosen your Medicare policy, you probably already know how complicated that process can be.

But if you're putting off choosing and buying a Medicare supplemental insurance policy for the same reason, rest assured that it doesn't have to be an ordeal. Armed with the right information, you'll know whether or not you need supplement insurance, which plan is for you, and how to get it for the best price on the market today.

Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap coverage, is a type of health insurance sold by private insurance companies. It's designed to fill in gaps between what's covered by Medicare and what you need or might need covered in the event of an illness or accident. As many seniors know, while Medicare covers many treatments and products, there are also a lot of important things that aren't covered. These gaps in coverage can be very expensive, particularly for long term care, expensive medications, or chronic illness.

In these situations Medicare supplemental insurance pays some of the health care costs that wouldn't be covered by original Medicare. This can also include co-payments and deductibles in most cases.

Every Medicare supplement plan must follow specific Federal and state laws that are designed to protect you. For this reason, in most states an insurance company can only sell you a "standardized" supplement plan identified by the letters A through N. And no matter what insurance company sells it, all Medicare supplement plans are required to offer the same core benefits.

This makes it easier to compare plans, and to choose the one that will be best for you.

So be sure to shop around, since different insurance companies can offer similar plans with the same basic benefits for different prices. By comparing the prices of several health insurance companies you'll be more likely to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

When you decide to purchase a Medicare supplemental insurance policy you'll be asked if you have Medicare Part A and Part B; this is required. You will have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B alongside the premiums for Medicare supplemental insurance, though in both cases prices are kept lower than you would pay on the market for standard insurance today.

Medicare Part B costs are regulated by the Federal government to keep costs down, and Medicare supplemental insurance offers 10 different plans so you can choose the one that best suits your needs at much lower prices.

If you and your spouse are both interested in purchasing Medicare supplement insurance you'll each need your own plan. Your supplement insurance policy won't cover the health care costs of your spouse.

If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, supplement insurance policies are standardized in a different way, and in some other states you can purchase another type of policy called Medicare SELECT. Be sure and check your own state's rules and regulations regarding Medicare supplement insurance so you can choose the best plan for you.

And as of June 1st 2010 there will be several important changes regarding supplemental insurance policies. These changes are designed to give you even more choices and opportunities to fill the gaps in Medicare services.

Be sure and ask your insurance broker about these changes, and see our sections titled "Medicare Supplement Plans" and "The Health Care Bill" to see how they might apply to you.

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