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Medigap Insurance

(Medicare Supplement Insurance)


Roger I. Schreck

, MD, Merck Manual

Last full review/revision Dec 2020| Content last modified Dec 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Current details regarding funding and availability of medical care in the United States remain unsettled. The reader is referred to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation for recent information.

Medigap is supplemental insurance designed to pay for medical care not covered by Medicare, including the deductibles and co-payments required by Medicare and extra charges by doctors who do not accept Medicare as full payment for a service. To obtain a Medigap policy, people must be enrolled in Medicare parts A and B and must not be enrolled in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage). Medigap policies do not duplicate payment for services covered by Medicare Parts A and B. The best time to purchase Medigap insurance is during its enrollment period, which begins when Medicare Part B is purchased and ends 6 months later. At other times, Medigap may be unavailable or more expensive. Many insurance companies offer Medigap insurance.

There are 10 types of Medigap policies, labeled A through D, F, G, and K-N. Not all plans are available in every state. Each type offers a different set of benefits. But the benefits of a specific type are the same no matter which insurance company offers it. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover payment for long-term personal care (at home or in a nursing home), vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing, or any prescription drugs. However, additional insurance policies that cover such services can be purchased.

More Information about Medigap Insurance

  • Medigap—Program information from

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