A private supplement is plan obtained with a private insurance company that pays secondary to Medicare. With a private supplement Medicare is billed first, then the remaining amount is billed to the plan. This type of plan offers more flexibility in choosing providers, because there generally is no network that a member must use, instead they may go to any doctor that accepts Original Medicare.
Private supplement can have an additional premium beyond the part B premium ranging from $80 to $170 dollars depending on the type of plan, service area, and company you choose.
Generally anyone can join a private supplement within six months of starting Medicare without the risk of being denied coverage or paying a higher premium, because of pre-existing conditions. After the six month period there would be the possibility of full underwriting.
There are different standardized plans that are labeled A thru N. The higher the premium on the plan, will generally purchase better coverage. Since these plans are standardized, the same coverage with a Plan A with one company would be equal to the coverage with a plan A with another company, the only difference is the price and stability of the company you choose.
A private supplement is a great fit for anyone who wants flexibility in choosing their own doctors, and can afford the additional monthly premium associated with this type of plan.