Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare doesn’t cover. If you have original Medicare and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will both pay their shares of covered health care costs.

Insurance companies can only sell you a standardized Medigap policy. These Medigap policies must all have specific benefits so you can compare them easily.

You may be able to choose among the 12 different standardized Medigap policies (Medigap Plans A through L). Medigap policies must follow federal and state laws. These laws protect you. A Medigap policy must be clearly identified on the cover as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Each plan has a different set of basic and extra benefits.

It’s important to compare Medigap policies because costs vary. The benefits in any Medigap plan A through L are the same for any insurance company. Each insurance company decides which Medigap policies it wants to sell.

Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy, you must have Medicare Part A and B. You will have to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium. In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company.

You and your spouse must buy separate Medigap policies. Your Medigap policy won’t cover any health care costs for your spouse.