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Medicare 101

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Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published October 31, 2023 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Health care can be expensive for American seniors, even if you have Medicare. Although Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for a wide range of health care costs, recipients can be responsible for deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) helps cover some of these costs and are accepted by any health care provider who accepts Medicare.

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To find a Medicare provider, use's physician compare tool. If you decide you want to enroll in a Medigap plan, a licensed agent can match you with policies in your area that make sense for your health care needs. Read on to learn more about Medigap so you can make an informed decision about your coverage. 

Medigap Provides Comprehensive Coverage

Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program for seniors age 65 and older and individuals with certain disabilities. Medicare covers a wide range of services, including:

  • Hospital care
  • Outpatient surgeries
  • Physician consultations
  • Hospice care
  • And preventive care, among other services

As mentioned, however, Medicare leaves numerous costs to recipients. Medigap insurance is sold by private insurance companies to help fill in some of the coverage gaps of Original Medicare. These coverage gaps can include:

  • Deductibles
  • Coinsurance
  • Copayments 
  • Excess charges
  • First three pints of blood
  • Other costs


Each of the 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans provide a different combination of basic benefits. No matter which Medigap plan you enroll in, however, you will receive coverage for:

  • Your Medicare Part A co-insurance and hospital costs
  • Your Medicare Part B co-insurance or co-payment
  • First three pints of blood
  • Your Medicare Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment

The 10 Medigap plans available in most states are standardized, meaning plans that share the same letter provide the same basic benefits no matter which insurance company you buy them from. Therefore, if you purchase a Medigap Plan G policy from one insurer, you will be getting the same basic benefits as your friend who buys Medigap Plan G from a different insurer.

Because insurance companies set their own prices, however, you could end up paying more for Medigap Plan G than your friend and vice versa. To ensure you are getting the Medigap plan you want at the best available price, be sure to shop around and compare plans between insurers. 

The following chart shows the basic benefits of all 10 standardized Medigap plans.

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Medicare Supplement Benefits

Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage

Part B coinsurance or copayment

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

Part B excess charges

Foreign travel emergency

Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage
Part B coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance 50% 75%
Part A deductible 50% 75% 50%
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%

* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.

Speak with a licensed agent at 1-800-995-4219, or read through our guide, 10 Medicare Mistakes You Could Be Making to learn more. 

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