Learning the ABC’s seemed a challenge when you were just starting school, but before long it was as simple as a song. This is much the same as learning the ABC’s of Medicare and Medigap plans. To those just becoming acquainted with Medicare and Medigap, it is easy to be perplexed by the differences between Medicare Part vs. Medigap Plan. Since both are subdivided into plans labeled with letters from the alphabet, it can be a little confusing at first.

The ABC’s of Medicare

Medicare is the United States Federally sponsored health insurance program primarily for eligible people who are age 65 or older. It is also available to those of any age that are living certain handicaps. Medicare covers lots of health care products and services that are prescribed as being clinically necessary, but there lots of things (spaces) that it does not cover. Medicare is divided in to 4 sections or “parts” that cover a wide variety of healthcare solutions and products. Each of these are labeled as A, B, C and D. Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap insurance plans, are personal health insurance policies to cover the expenses one might incur while receiving health or medical care that Medicare won’t cover.

A great way to determine which of the available Medicare Plans is best for you; a free Medicare Plan Finder is available online at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx. Just fill out a short questionnaire and the Medicare Plan Finder will guide you towards the best choice for your individual needs.

The ABC’s of Medicare Gap Insurance

Medicare Gap Insurance, or Medigap plans, are exclusive Medicare supplemental insurance policies that are developed to assist cover the “spaces” in Medicare coverage. While Medigap does deal with several of the drawbacks of Medicare, Medigap plans presently marketed do not cover long-term treatment, dental, vision or private nursing.

Medigap Plans are standardized by the Federal Government, which has labeled the different Medigap plans by letters “A” to “L.” There are a number of “A” plans supplied by multiple insurance carriers, yet they’re all essentially the exact same plan. This is also true for the “B” strategies, the “C” strategies, and so on.  Regardless of the private insurance company selling the policy, be it Blue Cross or United Healthcare, all Medigap policies must adhere to the federal guidelines set. For example, Medigap A plans must include the same basic elements of coverage no matter what company is selling the policy. Companies can price the policies differently and embellish the plans with added benefits, but the standardized coverage must remain in place. This makes it much simpler to compare Medigap plans from different insurance companies to decide which of these Medicare supplemental insurance best fits your needs and your budget.