Medigap plans are designed to cover some of the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also called Medigap) can even provide coverage for some services not covered by Original Medicare at all.
Learn more about your Medigap plan options and how to compare Medicare Supplement Insurance policies to find the right coverage for your needs.
Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans work alongside your Original Medicare benefits to help fill in the gaps in your coverage. There are 10 standardized Medigap plan types that are sold in most states by private insurers.1 Availability and cost can vary by state.
All Medigap plans must offer the following four basic benefits:
- Part A coinsurance for hospital care
- Part A coinsurance or copayment for hospice care
- Part B coinsurance or copayment
- First three pints of blood
Each type of Medigap plan offers a different combination of these and additional basic benefits. Compare Medigap plans with the chart below to find the policy that meets your needs.
Plan A is the most basic Medigap plan and offers the least amount of coverage. As such, it is often among the least expensive plans. Insurance companies that sell Medigap policies aren’t required to offer every type of plan option. However, every company that sells Medicare Supplement Insurance plans must offer Medigap Plan A and either Plan C or Plan F.
Plan B is another basic Medigap plan that offers every benefit provided by Plan A in addition to full coverage of the Medicare Part A deductible. In 2017, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,316 per benefit period.
Plan C is where Medigap plans begin to transition from basic coverage to more extensive coverage. Plan C offers everything covered by Plan B while also adding coverage for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, the Medicare Part B deductible (which totaled $183 in 2017) and coverage for emergency care received outside of the U.S. at 80 percent.
Plan D is very similar to Plan C. The only difference between the two is that Plan D does not provide any coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible.
Plan F is the most popular Medigap plan because of its comprehensive coverage. Plan F is the only Medigap policy to offer coverage for all nine of the benefit areas covered by Medicare Supplement Insurance. Because of its extensive range of coverage, Plan F is often the most expensive Medigap plan. However, the higher cost of the premium can often be offset by the out-of-pocket savings this plan can generate.
Plan G is the Medigap policy that is most comparable to Plan F. The lone difference between the two plans is that Plan G does not offer any coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible. Because the Part B annual deductible is $183 in 2017 (which equates to $15.25 per month), a Medigap Plan G that can be had for at least $15 per month cheaper than Plan F might offer the better value in the long run.
Plan K and Plan L are unique in two ways: They each offer partial (instead of full) coverage in a number of benefit areas and they each feature an annual out-of-pocket limit. Plan K provides coverage for everything that Plan D does with the exception of foreign travel emergency care. But instead of providing full coverage for those benefit areas, Plan K offers 50 percent coverage. An additional difference is that Plan K carries an annual out-of-pocket spending limit of $5,120.
Plan L is identical to Plan K with only two exceptions: Benefit areas are covered at 75 percent and the annual out-of-pocket limit is just $2,560.
Plan M is comparable to Plan L. But in exchange for not having an out-of-pocket limit, Plan M picks up 80 percent coverage of foreign travel emergency care. The key difference however is that Plan M offers 100 percent coverage for all of Plan L's benefit areas except for the Medicare Part A deductible, which is covered at 50 percent.
Last but certainly not least is Plan N. Plan N is identical to Plan M except the Medicare Part A deductible is covered in full.
Enrolling in a Medigap Plan
The earliest time you can purchase a Medigap plan is during your Medigap open enrollment period, which begins when you turn 65 and have enrolled in Medicare Part B. Your Medigap open enrollment period lasts for only six months.
Finding the right Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can lower your out-of-pocket costs and improve your health care coverage. To learn more about your Medicare Supplement Insurance plan options and to discuss which policy meets your needs, connect with a licensed agent today. Call 888-264-0148 to speak with a licensed agent or read through our guide 10 Medicare Mistakes You Could Be Making to learn more.
Compare Medicare Part A and Part B
Part A and Part B of Original Medicare cover many health care costs for millions of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are age 65 or older. Some people may qualify for Medicare health plan benefits before age 65 if they have a disability or qualifying condition such as ALS or End Stage Renal Disease.
Medicare Part A covers:
- Hospital care
- Nursing home care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Home health services
- Hospice care
Medicare Part B covers:
- Health care services and medical supplies that are necessary in order to diagnose or treat a medical condition
- Services to prevent or detect an illness or a condition at an early stage
Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay deductibles, copays and coinsurance as part of receiving their benefits.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies.1 These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare, but provide at least the same benefits as Part A and Part B. They may also provide additional benefits, such as prescription drugs and dental and vision coverage. Medicare Advantage plan costs, coverage and availability will vary based on your location and the provider you choose.