What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?
A Medicare Supplement Plan is a type of health insurance covering the gaps in Medicare which is sold by private insurance companies. It is sometimes referred to as a Medigap plan.
How can I get clear understanding of Medicare Supplements?
You can think of a Medicare Supplement Plan as an added benefit to Medicare – attached to the original Medicare Plans A and B. It pays the parts of Medicare that are not paid by Plans A and B, such as copayments and deductibles which you would pay when receiving Medicare-approved services.
When you are covered by a Medicare Supplement Plan, Medicare is billed directly from your doctor. Medicare then notifies your Medicare Supplement insurance company, who in turn will pay your remaining copayments and deductibles – costs that you would have to pay "out-of-pocket" if you were not covered by such a plan.
You may receive a notice from Medicare stating that it has made a payment to your doctor – but these are not bills. They are just notifications of claims filed by you doctor's office to Medicare for the care and/or services you've received. The Medicare supplement pays the remaining cost (co-payments and deductibles’) for which you would otherwise be responsible.
Anything that is approved and paid by Medicare has to also be covered by the supplement. There is no approval required by the supplement company – the doctor's office or hospital only files claims directly through Medicare.