The short answer to the question, “Will supplemental insurance pay for what Medicare does not”, is yes. However, there are variables to be considered.
Supplemental medical insurance is a separate insurance policy you purchase in addition to Medicare. Just like any other insurance, supplemental policies vary greatly in what they will cover and how they will pay. Some feature a low, or no deductible provision while others charge a lower premium and have a higher deductible. When considering a supplemental policy, do not rely on television and magazine advertisements. Ask questions and read the policy itself to see exactly what it will cover and how much it will pay. One area to watch is whether the policy only covers hospital stays, or if it also covers office visits and diagnostic testing. Once you have read the policy and are satisfied with the coverage, then consider the cost. A supplemental insurance policy should save you money. If it costs more than you will save from using it, then it is a poor purchase.
All supplemental insurance policies have one rule that is found within the name “supplemental”. The rule is that supplemental insurance policies will not cover anything that Medicare does not already cover. It is a “supplemental” policy, and it “supplements” Medicare. If Medicare does not cover something, then the supplemental policy will not cover it either. Most supplemental policies will pay the charges Medicare does not pay for covered expenses, but none of them will pay for anything not covered by Medicare.
Read the policy and ask questions.