Supplemental Medicare Coverage

Since 1965, additional coverage options have been made available to augment Original Medicare. These options are provided by private insurance companies and are commonly referred to as Medigap, or Medicare Supplement plans. Additionally, Medicare Part C plans, sometimes known as Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have been introduced since 1965.

Original Medicare enrollees are not required to purchase supplemental coverage, but many elect to do so.

The two most common ways for acquiring supplemental coverage are:

    1. As a bundled approach that combines Original Medicare, prescription drug coverage and certain additional benefits into a single plan. The bundled approach is known as Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plans.
    2. As an unbundled approach in which Original Medicare, supplemental and prescription drug coverages are chosen separately. This approach is referred to as Medigap or Medicare Supplement plans

Whether to purchase supplemental coverage is an individual decision. Notably, each spouse can separately choose the approach that works best for them.

Working with a knowledgeable insurance professional is key.