Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also called Medigap policies, are available for purchase from private insurance companies in most states. Each Medigap plan offers different basic benefits at differing costs, depending on your insurance provider.
Use the chart below when comparing Medigap plans to find the right mix of basic benefits for your needs.
The 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance Policies
There are 10 standardized Medigap policies that supplement Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Each type of Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can help cover out-of-pocket health care costs such as deductibles, copays and other fees.
Please note that if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota or Wisconsin, you will have different plan options.
Comparing the Basic Benefits of Medigap Plans
Original Medicare requires beneficiaries to pay a number of out-of-pocket health insurance costs.
- Part A and Part B both have deductibles.
- Medicare Part A requires coinsurance for extended stays in the hospital, skilled nursing facilities and for hospice care.
- Medicare Part B also requires some copays or coinsurance, and some enrollees might face Part B excess charges.
Because they can cover some of these expenses, Medigap plans go a long way in helping make your health care costs more predictable.
For example, Medigap Plan G provides coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible (which is $1,364 per benefit period in 2019). It also covers Part A coinsurance for inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or for hospice care.
While it doesn’t cover your Medicare Part B deductible, Medigap Plan G does cover Medicare Part B copays or coinsurance.
Buying Medigap Plans From Insurance Companies
The basic benefits for each type of Medigap plan are standardized by the federal government. For example, Medigap Plan C is required to offer the same basic benefits, no matter which company sells it to you. The primary difference between Medigap Plan C from provider to provider will be policy premium costs.
The most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is Medigap Plan F. As you can see in the chart above, Medigap Plan F covers all nine of the standard Medigap basic benefits, including the Medicare Part B deductible.
The best time to purchase a Medigap policy is during your open enrollment period. Your Medigap open enrollment period begins as soon as you are:
- At least 65 years old AND
- Enrolled in Medicare Part B
Your open enrollment period only lasts for six months. During this time, insurance companies cannot deny you a policy or charge more for your Medigap plan based on your health.