Medicare Supplemental Plans Offered by Private Health Insurance Providers

Medigap policies are divided into 2 main groups:

  • SELECT policies
  • Regular policies

SELECT Medigap Policies

SELECT policies can exist for all of the different lettered plan types. SELECT policies require that you use a specific network of providers and doctors. The premiums for these plans are generally less expensive. These are similar to the HMO and PPO plans available under Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage. SELECT policies are unique in that you can switch to a plan of equal or lesser value being offered by the same company at any time.

Auntie Lou says, "SELECT plans let you select a new plan but they don't let you select the doctor or provider."

Regular Medigap Policies

Many different types of "regular" supplemental plans are also available. These plans have been standardized according to a lettering system to make things a little bit easier. Unfortunately, Plans, E, H, I and J no longer exist so the alphabetical system doesn't make much sense. In addition, the letters have no relationship to the level of coverage. For example, Plan A doesn't offer the most coverage, Plan F does. Plan A, ironically enough, offers the least coverage. When choosing a lettered plan look first at which category meets your needs and then compare plans within that letter with other plans of the same letter.

Supplemental plans help pay patient copays but in general they do not pay for services not covered by Original Medicare. One exception to this is Travel Emergency Coverage included in plans C, D, F, G, M and N. Moreover, these plans do not pay Part B premiums and most of them do not offer drug coverage.