What is a Medicare Supplemental?
Medicare Supplemental, also called "Medigap" and "Medicare Supplemental Insurance", is a form of additional health insurance coverage for Medicare enrollees that pays for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare (provided by the federal government). It is an insurance policy that you would buy on top of the Medicare coverage you already have.
Think of it this way:
Original Medicare does an adequate job of covering eligible medical expenses for Medicare enrollees. It provides primary coverage for hospitalizations and doctor services. While Medicare is subsidized, it is not completely free and so you share in the cost of the medical expenses you incur. In most years, Original Medicare will provide adequate coverage if your medical expenditures aren't over a certain amount, say $10,000 per year (hypothetically, depending on your financial situation). However, say one year you need to go through a surgical procedure, along with an extended outpatient rehab state. And say that the overall bill of for the combined treatments comes to over $100,000. While Medicare will cover most of the bill, your share could still end up being $20,000. A Medicare Supplement plan is a true form of insurance that lessens the risk and financial burden against such situations.
You'll need to decide for yourself whether or not a Medicare Supplemental plan is right for your needs. While you should consult with a licensed agent to evaluate your situation at a deeper level, you're benefitted by having a basic understanding of how Medicare Supplement works.
MyMedicareSupplemental.org provides free, objective online information to help you get acquainted with this product.