Medicare Supplemental Insurance
For extra benefits, you may purchase a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy, called Medigap. Medigap is sold by private companies to fill the gaps in the Medicare Part A and Part B plan coverages including copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. You must have both parts A & B to be eligible. You cannot use a Medigap policy with a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare pays its share of health care costs before the Medigap policy pays.
There are ten Medigap policies to choose from and they are standardized among insurance companies. Medigap policies must follow federal and state law and they only work with the Original Medicare Plan. You pay the insurance company a monthly premium in addition to your Part B premium. Premiums may vary among insurance companies although coverage should not. Purchasing a Medigap plan allows you to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. You and your spouse must purchase separate plans in order to both be covered.
Medicare SELECT is a type of Medigap policy that may require you to use doctors and hospitals within the carrier’s network in order for you to be eligible for full benefits.
You may enroll in a Medigap policy starting when you enroll in Medicare Part B and enrollment lasts for 6 months. During this time, companies cannot turn you down due to health reasons, but they may after the enrollment period is over. It is important to compare policies as there is a wide divergence among them. Comparisons of Medigap plans can be found using the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan.
Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare is a guide for purchasing and using Medigap Insurance as well as understanding other kinds of health insurance available. For more information on Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policies or to obtain a copy of the guide, contact:
Medicare Supplement Policies: A Guide for Nebraskans outlines the different supplemental insurance policies available in Nebraska.
The Iowa Medicare Supplement & Premium Comparison Guide outlines the different supplemental insurance policies available in Iowa. Each is revised yearly. For more information or to obtain a copy, contact:
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
The Nebraska Department of Insurance
PO Box 95087
Lincoln, NE 68509-5087
Consumer Affairs Hotline: 877-564-7323 (In-State Only)
Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
Iowa Insurance Division
1963 Bell Avenue, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50315