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How do Medicare Supplements work?

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap policies, are issued by private companies and pay secondary to Medicare. 


In other words, you show two cards at the doctor or hospital - Original Medicare card and a Supplement card.

Plans range from A-N, with varying benefit structures.  Generally speaking, if Medicare pays first, the supplement will pay second, though most plans do have a deductible and some also have coinsurance or copays.


Supplements generally do not include extra benefits like dental and vision. 

Premiums vary between carriers and plans, typically $100-$300 per month.

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Things to Consider

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  • Is my doctor willing to bill Original Medicare as primary?

  • Do I travel outside of my resident area for extended periods of time?

  • Am I eligible for other coverage such as Tricare, VA, or an employer group plan?

  • Is the monthly premium within my budget?

  • Do I feel comfortable with some cost-share like copays?

1 Plan pays Part B coinsurance or copayment except for an insured copay of up to $20 for each doctor's office visit and up to $50 for each emergency room visit (emergency room copay waived if admitted as inpatient).

2 Benefit is 80% after the $250 annual deductible with a $50,000 lifetime maximum for Foreign Emergency Care that begins during the first 60 days of a trip period.


3 The plan pays 100 percent of covered services for the rest of the calendar year once beneficiaries have paid the out-of-pocket annual limit and annual Part B deductible ($240 in 2024).

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