Medigap policies sold years ago weren’t allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) offered by private companies approved by Medicare. But Medicare Supplement Plans for 2019 come with a variety of choices. Private insurance companies offer Medicare supplement coverage, but the types of coverage offered are standardized. Every Medigap policy is required to abide by certain federal and state laws. However, you can choose a specific Medigap policy that suits your needs. These plans are identified with a letter system (Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc.). Any insurer who offers a plan under any of those categories must provide the standard level of coverage defined for that category.

Plans typically cover coinsurance or copayments that you must pay under your Medicare coverage. Other benefits will vary depending on the type of plan you choose. The plan you select may or may not cover: Hospice care, Skilled nursing facility care, Deductibles for services otherwise covered by Part A or Part B, Foreign travel

You can decide on the type of coverage that is appropriate for your needs. Typically, the more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the premiums will be. If you are looking for a Medicare supplement plan, shop around to understand if you have access to plans that may include long-term care coverage, hearing aids and vision or dental care.

Compare carefully as you can consider Medigap policies from a variety of providers in your state (the types of plans offered in each state can differ). Pricing may also vary. Insurance companies can base premiums in one of three ways: Community rated, meaning premiums aren’t based on age. Issue-age rated, where premiums remain steady (and generally lower) if you first buy the policy at a younger age. Attained-age rated, where premiums are lower when you first buy the policy, but will rise as you grow older. Be sure you understand the pricing structure of the policy you are considering. If policies you are comparing use different pricing structures, a policy that might cost you less today could be more expensive down the road as there are a number of variables that can affect premiums. Also be sure to understand exactly how your policy works, what it covers, and how premiums might change in the future. You can also visit for more information and a free, helpful booklet titled “Choosing a Medigap Policy.”