Who Needs Medigap?

•October 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Medigap is a form of private health insurance that aims to provide supplemental coverage to those covered by Medicare. Medigap policies are closely monitored by the Federal government to ensure that all policies are transparent and are simple to understand. Medigap plans are classified into 10 plan types based on their coverage and premium amounts.


Medigap stands for “Medicare Supplemental Insurance” and as the name states, it is a supplemental form of insurance targeted those covered by Medicare. While Medicare does a great service for the elderly by covering a large portion of their healthcare costs, there are some “gaps” that could, and in many cases should, be covered by supplemental insurance. People often elect to purchase a Medigap plan to address these gaps and to provide for an extra layer of security.

Medigap is a popular plan, with nearly 20% of Medicare recipients electing for Medigap coverage. In fact, many employers are beginning to offering guaranteed Medigap coverage as part of their employment benefits package. With America growing older due to the Baby Boom, Medigap coverage is only going to grow more popular and widespread. Add in potential Medicare cuts and Medigap becomes even more important.

Medigap is not a public run insurance program, like Medicare, but is only open to those who are enrolled in Medicare coverage. Generally this means those above 65 years of age, but not always. Medigap insurance is not a stand-alone healthcare plan, it is a supplemental plan meant to add additional coverage to those covered under Medicare.

Medigap plans often cover the costs, or at least a portion of the costs, from medical emergencies that occur abroad. With costs of living and travel so low in some foreign countries, many people are using their golden years to travel and see the world. Medigap insurance can provide an extra layer of protections for those traveling abroad.

While Medigap insurance was largely designed for those 65 years or older, in some states other groups of Medicare recipients can also purchase Medigap insurance. This depends on state and local regulations.