AARP which stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing benefits to persons over the age of 50. One key issue for AARP is to ensure retired individuals have access to health care. As a result, AAPR offers health insurance, which includes prescription drug coverage and Medigap, a Medicare supplemental insurance.
Medigap, AARP's Medicare Supplement Insurance, is a private supplemental health insurance plan that is available only to persons who already qualify for Medicare and are AARP members. To qualify for Medicare, the applicant must be 65 years of age or older, with some exceptions. Additionally, unlike with many private insurances, individuals can enroll in Medicare without submitting to a medical screening. However, depending on the Medigap plan selected, a medical screening may be required for Medigap coverage, but not Medicare coverage.
As the name "gap" suggests, Medigap provides coverage for medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare or are only partially covered by Medicare. In effect, AARP's supplemental insurance covers the difference between the total amount charged to you for medical services and the expenses reimbursed or covered by Medicare.
Medigap offers 11 different insurances plans. Each plan, labeled A through N, offers a different set of benefits. In other words, each plan fills different gaps in your Medicare coverage. For example, Plan C includes Skilled Nursing-Home Coinsurance, which is not included in Plans A or B. Likewise, Plans E and F cover foreign travel emergency when many other plans do not. The variety of plans ensures that each person gets the gap coverage they need without paying for insurance or coverage that is not useful or beneficial to them. Also, due to the varying benefits in each plan, the prices of each plan also vary.
Medigap is not compatible with other private insurances that also provide gap coverage, such as the Medicare Advantage plan.
Lindsay Nixon has been writing since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Vegetarian Times," "Women's Health Magazine" and online for The Huffington Post. She is also a published author, lawyer and certified personal trainer. Nixon has two Bachelors of Arts in classics and communications from the College of Charleston and a Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law.